Eugene, Ore. (KEZI) — Eugene store Yi Shen had been hit seven times by vandals in the last six months, along with other Asian businesses.Unsure of what the possible motive is, community members speculate it could be racially-motivated.
One group came together to help the owner find some security. Asian Pacific Island Community Action Team Member Sam Roxas-Chua said, “Because of the political climate right now, there’s a lot of hate and fear that’s being talked about — that crimes like these, people are more aware that if this were to happen to another community, Eugene will be able to say, ‘Not in our community,” and ban together.”
They formed an overnight watch group until they could install a security system with the money raised from fundraising efforts, but still they had no solid leads on who could’ve been targeting the store.
On a separate occasion, a Eugene man playing Pokémon Go with his friend around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning witnessed a vandal breaking the windows of Lotus Garden. He acted fast and called police, since his phone still had battery life.
He said this man seemed tohave a specific motive. “He just seemed a really angry, angry person. He kind of shattered the glass and he was mumbling angry things to himself. Kind of racist things against Asians,” said Michael Andrade, a witness to the vandalism.
The Eugene Police Department was able to catch the suspect shortly after he vandalized Jade Palace just down the street in front of other witnesses.
He said that if it wasn’t for Pokémon Go, he wouldn’t be at the right place at the right time. “Well honestly, I wasn’t one to go outside very often until this game came out, and now I’ve been outside 80 percent of the time now,” said Andrade.
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