HomeAsian AmericansMan Shoves Korean Woman at Subway Station, Police Investigation Ensues

Man Shoves Korean Woman at Subway Station, Police Investigation Ensues

Police are investigating an incident in which a White man allegedly told a Korean woman to “get the f— out of my country,” spat on her, and shoved her in early July, reports USA TODAY.

According to Seulji Lee, she was riding the subway in New York with friend Seran Song when a man sitting next to her said, “Fake,” and “Get the f— out of my country.” Lee asked Song if she had heard what the man said since she was unsure if he was addressing them, but Song was uncertain as well. The two then got up to move cars since they felt uncomfortable.

The man then immediately got off the train, so the two women decided not to move. Song said the man saw that the women stayed, so he got back on.

When Lee and Song exited at the Coney Island station, the man followed them off.  Song said he then came up behind Lee and spat on Lee’s head, at which Song started recording the incident. In the video, Lee runs up to the man and grabs his shirt; the man then shoves Lee toward the train and runs off.

Lee and Song are interns in New York City through the Korea WEST program. Song said they didn’t know how to report the incident to police when it happened.

“At first we just cried a lot and we didn’t know how to deal with it,” said Song, who claimed another woman told them after the incident that the man acted strange towards her and her mother, too. “One passenger came to us like, ‘if you need a picture of him, I have it!'”

The pair had since reported what happened, and it’s now being investigated as a “possible bias incident,” but no arrests have been made so far.

Lee posted a video of the encounter and a photo of the man to Facebook, writing, “I’m sharing this video, pic and the story since I hope this kind of racism or hate crime are never going to happen to anyone again.”

Despite the thousands of views on Facebook, this incident isn’t getting much attention elsewhere.

“This is a good example of seeing it in the Asian American community and not having much happen,” said John Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. “People don’t recognize the discrimination and hate incidents that Asian Americans face as well.”

Yang believes the increase in hate crimes and hate incidents against Asian Americans are spurred by a persistent view of Asians as foreigners.

“It’s extremely frustrating. It’s extremely upsetting,” Yang said. “This notion that Asian Americans are somehow less American is deeply offensive. When we see incidents like this it’s—and I use this word deliberately—alienating.”

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