According to police, an elderly South Korean couple was attacked in a park in California by the same man who harassed Olympic athlete Kokumai Sakura.

Olympian Sakura Kokumai she Verbal harassment in early April, called racial slur.. Now, a few weeks later, officials say he arrested her harasser after attacking an elderly couple on Sunday.

According to officials, 25-year-old Michael Vivona beat a 79-year-old man and an 80-year-old wife and slammed them into the ground while walking in a park in Orange, California, about 40 miles from Los Angeles. Sergeant Philip McMarin of the Orange City Police said they were both Korean-Americans.

McMarin made no statements during the attack, but told USA Today in an interview with police that he “provided that the assault was racially motivated.”

“He hates Asians and has revealed that,” he added.

Both seniors were slightly injured and released on-site.

Japanese-American Kokumai was training in the same park on April 1 when Vivona began yelling.

“You lose. Go home, you’re stupid b —-” he said, according to the video. Kokumai posted on Instagram.. “I will raise you f —.”

“What happened to me was nothing compared to what we are currently seeing on social media. People were beaten, people were killed, people were killed,” Kokumai said. I told USA Today early in the month.

“We need to protect each other.”Olympic hopers say they have experienced anti-Asian hatred

According to McMarin, Vibera is believed to be homeless and live outside the car. He was booked for two elder abuses and one criminal intimidation in connection with the case in early April.

When the assault occurred on Sunday, “community members surrounded the suspect,” McMarin said, keeping the suspect in the park until police arrived.

A 10-fold increase was seen in Orange County 2020 hatred case reportAccording to Orange County Human Relations, a non-profit organization working closely with the county to track and respond to hate crimes and racism. Los Angeles Times report.

Last month, the Orange County Supervisory Board passed two resolutions against hate crimes, following an increase in such crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Orange County Relationship Commission said such crimes have increased tenfold over the past year.

“Being there for them as a community”: A series of attacks on Asian Americans rattles the Bay Area of ​​California: This group of 700 volunteers takes action

Hate crimes against Asian Americans: Here’s what activists, lawmakers, and police are doing to stop violence:

According to the Anti-Defamation League, attacks on hate crimes and Asians and Asian Americans have “significantly increased” since the launch of the COVID-19 pandemic. Former President Donald Trump’s Inflammatory Rhetoric — He blamed China for the virus and used slurs to explain the pandemic — According to an ADL survey released last month, it helped increase anti-Asian racism.

Contributed by: Nancy Armour, USA TODAY; Associated Press

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: A man accused of harassing Olympic athletes and beating a Korean couple was arrested

Posted on