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Two elderly Asian women were brutally clobbered with a cinder block in a possible hate crime attack at a Baltimore liquor store this week, surveillance video shows.
Daryl Doles, 49, was arrested after he repeatedly beat the victims, who worked at the shop, in the head with a “brick," on Sunday, according to a police report obtained by Oxygen.com. The women, aged 66 and 67, are sisters, officials said.
Police responded to reports of an aggravated assault at Wonderland Liquors in northwest Baltimore shortly after midnight on May 3.
Upon arrival, officers made contact with the two battered and bloodied store clerks. Police, who initially had “difficulties” communicating with them, ultimately obtained the store’s surveillance video, which captured the violent encounter.
In the surveillance footage, the suspect appears to push his way past one of the store workers while she locked up the shop for the evening. The man in the video, however, wrestled her to the ground and cracked her in the face with an object three times.
The suspect then clubbed the other store clerk in the side of the head after she came to her sister's aid. The siblings unsuccessfully attempted to shove the suspect out of the store. He later yanked one of the women to the ground by her hair and once more repeatedly smashed her face with the cinder block.
As the attack unfolded, an unidentified bystander nonchalantly walked out of the store without intervening or helping the two women, as seen in the video of the attack.
The skirmish eventually spilled outside. The two women are later seen in surveillance video re-entering the storefront “bloody from the struggle,” the police report added.
Doles was arrested nearby and is facing six assault charges and one charge of wearing or carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, according to documents obtained by Oxygen.com.
It’s unknown if the attack was racially motivated. On Thursday, Baltimore Police declined to disclose whether the incident would be investigated as a hate crime.
“This investigation is still ongoing,” Det. Chakia Fennoy told Oxygen.com.
The two victims, whose names were not immediately released, were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. They suffered cuts and bruising to their faces, as well as a possible concussion. One woman needed more than two dozen stitches, according to family members.
“My mom and aunt were viciously attacked by a random man wielding a cement block while they were trying to close up shop,” Johnny Yunn wrote on GoFundMe. "They both tried to fight him off, but were unfortunately overpowered. My aunt got the worse of the attack with over 25 stitches on her head and black eyes.”
Both victims have been discharged from the hospital. An online fundraiser for the family has since raised more than $73,000.
“I admire the bravery and courage of these two women and am incredibly proud of them,” Yunn added. “Their physical wounds will heal eventually, but the trauma from this attack will require more time. I am trying to raise some funds so they can relax and heal and without worrying about the burden of bills that will arise from this attack.”
Robert Hur, an attorney representing both women, said he is still learning the facts about the attack.
"One thing is clear: Such shocking acts of violence against fellow members of our neighborhoods cannot go on,” he told Oxygen.com in a statement. “The family is grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and support. I urge everyone to do all we can to raise awareness and to speak out against bias, hate, and violence against any members of our city and community, including Asian Americans.”
Baltimore has recorded three hate crime attacks this year, one of which included an aggravated assault of an Asian victim in the city’s east end last month, according to police data obtained by Oxygen.com. No arrests have been made in that case.
Following an uptick in mass misinformation and toxic political rhetoric in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, hate crimes targeting Asian citizens have steadily climbed in several cities across the country.
On Tuesday, two other Asian women were randomly stabbed at a bus stop in San Francisco. One of the victims was 84, according to officials. Patrick Thompson, 54, was later arrested on two counts of attempted murder in connection with the knife attack. Police are investigating whether the attack was fueled by racial bias.
Last weekend, two Asian individuals were bludgeoned with a hammer in Times Square by an unidentified woman carrying a wig. The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident. No arrests have been made. Surveillance footage of the attack has been made public by officials.
“My constituents are broken-hearted, and afraid, and angry,” New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou told Oxygen.com.
In New York, especially, hate crime attacks against Asians have jumped by 400% in the past year, according to police data. In 2021, police have investigated at least 80 Asian hate crime complaints, compared to only 16 at this time last year.
“Obviously, there’s a trend and it's a really concerning one,” added Niou, who represents residents in lower Manhattan and Chinatown. “It’s cowardly. ... We have to have a conversation in this country about this growing hatred.”
Doles is being held at a Baltimore city jail without bail, officials said. It’s unclear if he’s retained legal representation.
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