An arrest has been made following an incident of anti-Asian hate that occurred in California’s East Bay over the Christmas holiday weekend.
San Ramon Police Chief Denton Carlson announced the arrest of suspect Jordan Douglas Krah in a tweet Monday evening. Krah, a Denver, Colorado resident, is facing hate crime charges and is currently in custody at Martinez Detention Facility in Martinez, California, the chief said.
“The San Ramon Police Department strives to ensure everyone in our community feels safe and welcome. We will continue to take swift and diligent legal action against acts of hate to help create an inclusive place for all to live, work and visit,” the department said in a press release.
On Christmas Eve, Arine Kim and her friend Elliot Ha were eating at an In-N-Out Burger in San Ramon when they were approached by a man who cornered them with racist insults.
The pair were recording a TikTok video and trying menu items when he approached, calling them “weird homosexuals,” before returning to make other bigoted remarks about their race and ethnicities.
“I personally couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it was real, it was so random,” Ha, who initially responded with nervous, shocked humor, told San Francisco ABC station KGO.
“It’s a fear response, so you’re nervous and you don’t know what to do in that situation but to laugh it off,” Kim said, adding that she was grateful for Ha’s humor at the time.
In the video, Ha said he had never experienced anything like that before. For Kim, however, this was an unfortunate reminder of hate speech she’s encountered in the past.
She told KGO that this was not the first time she’d been attacked with racist slurs and epithets.
In the video, Kim said the man stared at them from outside the restaurant for a while, prompting them to have the fast food restaurant’s staff escort them to the parking lot over fears of being followed.
Only a few miles away in Danville, a woman named Abigail Hailili said she was met with similar comments on Christmas morning.
A spokesperson for the San Ramon Police Department said in a statement to ABC News Monday afternoon that the department had made significant progress in its investigation of both incidents. It remains unclear whether the two incidents are related. The department has asked for the public’s help in identifying both perpetrators.
With a rise in violence against Asian Americans across the country, advocates have launched initiatives to make necessary change.
“It’s the realization this is real and that affects people you know, you love, that are close to you,” Ha told KGO. “That’s why people are finding ways to spread awareness, because it’s an issue that does matter. It’s a real thing and people need to be aware of it.”
Reported anti-Asian hate crime events in the state increased by an alarming 177.5% from 2020 to 2021, according to the California Department of Justice’s Hate Crime in California reportreleased in June. Many other incidents go unreported.