Jordan Douglas Krah was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime after he spat at someone and made bigoted comments in California’s East Bay over the Christmas holiday weekend, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
Krah, a Denver resident, also faces charges there for vehicular assault.
“A threat to one ethnic community is a threat to all communities,” Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement Thursday. “There is no place for hate crimes in Contra Costa County. I commend the San Ramon Police Department for their response to this incident, along with the collaborative efforts of local and Colorado law enforcement.”
If convicted, Krah could be sentenced to a maximum of 18 months in county jail.
Krah was arrested Monday by San Ramon police on two hate crime charges for making racist and homophobic comments toward two college students on Dec. 24. He was held at the Martinez Detention Facility in Martinez, California and posted bail the following day.
San Ramon Police Chief Denton Carlson announced the arrest in a tweet Monday night.
“The San Ramon Police Department is committed to making sure everyone feels safe and welcome in our community. We will continue to take swift and diligent legal action against hate speech to help create an inclusive place for all to live, work and visit.” he said in a press release.
On Christmas Day, Arine Kim and her boyfriend Elliot Ha were eating at In-N-Out Burger in San Ramon when they were approached by a man who chased them away with racial slurs.
The pair were making a TikTok video trying menu items when he approached them and called them “weird homosexuals” before returning to make more bigoted remarks about their race and ethnicity.
“I personally couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it was real, it was so random,” Ha, who initially reacted with nervous, shocked humor, told ABC station KGO in San Francisco.
“It’s a fear response, so you’re nervous and you don’t know what to do in that situation other than laugh it off,” Kim said, adding that she was grateful for Ha’s humor at the time.
Ha said in the video that he had never experienced anything like this before. For Kim, however, it was an unfortunate reminder of the hate speech she has encountered in the past.
She told KGO that this was not the first time she had been attacked with racial slurs and slurs.
Kim said in the video that the man stared at them from outside the restaurant for a while, prompting them to be escorted to the parking lot by the fast food restaurant staff out of concern that they were being followed.
Just a few miles away in Danville, a woman named Abigail Halili said she and her family encountered similar remarks on Christmas morning.
With violence against Asian Americans on the rise across the country, advocates have launched initiatives to make the necessary changes.
“It’s the realization that it’s real and that it affects people you know, love, are close to you,” Ha told KGO. “That’s why people are looking for ways to spread awareness because it’s an issue that matters. It’s a real thing and people need to be aware of it.”
Reported anti-Asian hate crimes in the state rose an alarming 177.5% from 2020 to 2021, according to the California Department of Justice’s California Hate Crimes Report released in June. Many other incidents remain unreported.
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