An older Latina woman was attacked last week on a Los Angeles Metro bus after being called an anti-Chinese racial epithet by a Black woman, her son said.
The son of the 70-year-old woman, identified as Becky, told Los Angeles blog The Eastsider that his mother was about to exit the 81 bus at La Loma Road and Figueroa Street in the city's Eagle Rock neighborhood when the woman hurled the racist term at her then attacked her while dragging her from the back to the front of the bus.
“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” said the woman’s son, who was identified as Pete by the website, which covers the east side of Los Angeles.
The brutal attack continued until a fellow passenger called 911, he said.
His mother is in fact Mexican-American, he said, and she and her family are frequently mistaken for being of Asian descent, he told the site.
Becky was left with a broken nose, swollen face, and swollen eyes in the attack. Her assailant pulled her hair from her head, her son said. She also had a concussion after the attack, which he said occurred as she was on her way to a local Vons supermarket to buy groceries for her granddaughter. She was hospitalized and released after 24 hours.
The alleged assailant, later identified as 23-year-old Yasmine Beasley, was arrested at 1:20 p.m. on suspicion of felony assault, Officer Mike Lopez told Oxygen.com on Friday. Beasley was scheduled for a court appearance today. Her bail was set at $130,000, Lopez said.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a statement on Wednesday regarding the incident.
“Metro expresses its sincere condolences to transit customers who have been recent targets of hate crimes on our transit system,” the statement reads. “Metro has a zero-tolerance policy for any acts of violence against customers or employees. We strongly condemn any offenses done in the name of race, religion, sex or national origin.
The statement also mentioned a second incident this week in which a Latino man was a victim of an alleged hate crime in East Hollywood. Metro said that a suspect has yet to be apprehended in that incident.
The Los Angeles Times reported several other similar incidents that have occurred in the city over the past week. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, anti-Asian attacks intensified across the country.
On March 29, the White House announced new actions to respond to the increase in xenophobia and acts of anti-Asian violence. This came after the introduction of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act which seeks to assign a point person at the Department of Justice to expedite review of COVID-19-related hate crimes and provide response support for law enforcement. The Senate voted Wednesday to advance the legislation 92-to-6.
Six Republicans — Senators Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Roger Marshall, Rand Paul and Tommy Tuberville — voted against advancing the bill.
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