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Police investigating 2 AAPI hate-related incidents

<i>KGO</i><br/>Bay Area teen Kairan Quazi is only 14 years old
Arif, Merieme
Bay Area teen Kairan Quazi is only 14 years old

By Dion Lim

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    SAN RAMON, California (KGO) — An East Bay woman and her friend are shocked and speaking out after experiencing a homophobic, racist rant at a San Ramon fast food restaurant Christmas Eve.

Arine Kim and her friend Elliot Ha were recording a TikTok video trying some In-n-Out items around 10:30 at night when suddenly, a man can be heard off camera calling the pair “weird homosexuals” and continuing to harass Kim’s friend asking if he was “Kim Jong Un’s boyfriend”. The pair can be heard taking the rant in stride, laughing off the man’s cruel taunts.

“I personally couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it was real it was so random,” said Ha.

Kim continued to describe his shock and eventual realization to how serious the situation was.

“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.” she said via Zoom from Moraga.

At first, she tried to take it all in stride, then escalate the situation.

“I’ve heard people call me a chink or go back to your country or a dog eater and I brush it off.. the situation just escalated very quickly and if I were by myself I’d be a lot more anxious and lot more scared. I was appreciative of his humor in the moment. ” she says.

The pair asked the staff at the In-N-Out to escort them to the parking lot after the man left, in fears he may be following them.

The next day, at around 11 a.m. on Christmas, a woman named Abigail Hailili experienced a similar rant from a man outside a store in Danville.

She and her family were waiting for coffees when she says a man “…kept trying to spit as us.” and then went on to call her and her family “Filipino idiots” among other insults.

Kim and Ha say the experience has inspired them to speak out and encourage others to do the same when faced with racism.

“I’m one of those people who have experienced Asian Hate or attacks on POC on social media,” Says Ha. “Through that lens it feels pretty fake it’s really detached from your current situation. This has genuinely never happened to me before. It’s the realization this is real and that affects people you know, you love, that are close to you. 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.”

San Ramon Police say the man in the second racially-motivated case in Danville was driving a silver Mustang with Florida plates.

San Ramon Police Chief Denton Carlson told ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim they’re investigating both “hate-motivated incidents” and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man in the Mustang. The department is also using the city’s camera system to identify the individual seen in both the In-n-Out video and the one from Danville.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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