"You (expletive), Chinese (expletive)"
A pregnant Asian American mother was punched in the face in Philadelphia but police are not treating it as a hate crime.
Jing Chen was walking near 13th and Walnut streets last week when a woman started spraying water at her and her 12-year-old daughter.
“I asked her, ‘Why did you do that?” said Chen.
“You (expletive), Chinese (expletive),” the woman replied before launching an assault on the pregnant woman for responding.
“So, I, as a mom said, ‘You too!’ She went back to me in front of my face and I asked her, ‘What you gonna do I’m pregnant, are you going to hurt me?’ That lady looked at my belly for two seconds, ‘So what?’ She punched me on my face!” said Chen.
Chen again encountered the suspect earlier this week. “What happened last week, I haven’t left the house since yesterday. As soon as I went out of the house, I ran into her and it made me feel like, I’m so scared,” she said.
Police are currently searching for the suspect, who they believe is a panhandler named Delores Marte. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.
However, the incident is not being treated as a hate crime despite the suspect’s racist slurs.
“This is an active investigation and we have not ruled out additional charges, but there is not sufficient evidence that has been presented to us that this is a case of ethnic intimidation at this time,” said the DA’s office in a statement.
Community leaders expressed their concern about racism towards Asians amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Executive director of Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, John Chin said, “I think just being in this environment of COVID-19, there’s a really heightened fear and concern about anti-Asian sentiment.”
In related news, Asian Americans in New York held a march to show their support for an 89-year-old woman who was set on fire.