BY: MARLENE LENTHANG, ABC NEWS
(TACOMA, Wash.) — A 15-year-old has been arrested for allegedly assaulting an Asian couple in an attack caught on video in Washington state.
The Tacoma Police Department announced Friday that a male teen was arrested and charged with second-degree assault in connection to the attack on a Korean-American couple on Nov. 19, 2020.
Video of the attack, where the teen appears to punch an Asian man, 56, repeatedly as the woman with him looks frantic, circulated on social media recently. The suspect was 14 at the time, according to local ABC affiliate KOMO.
The arrest comes amid a spate of rising attacks against Asian Americans.
Police said they received a report about the video of the attack on March 31 and asked the public for information regarding the incident.
On Thursday a family member of the victims in the video contacted police, officials said.
The victims did not know video of the assault was recorded, police said.
Investigators used the video to identify the suspect and realized he was scheduled to show up on Friday for a detention review hearing for an unrelated robbery charge and officers took him into custody at the courthouse, police said to KOMO.
The attack on the Asian couple has not immediately been classified as a hate crime. The suspect has not been named because he is a minor.
From March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021, there were more than 3,795 hate incidents, including verbal harassment and physical assault, against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit organization that tracks such incidents.
On March 16, a gunman killed eight people, including six Asian women, in three separate shootings at spas in the Atlanta area.
The attack, and other acts of violence against the Asian community, have sparked rallies in dozens of U.S. cities in recent weeks calling for an end to anti-Asian violence.
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