Convenience Store Hit with Second Anti-Asian Attack in Less Than 2 Months

After their Charlotte, North Carolina convenience store was attacked last March, the Sung family had only just finished cleaning up the shattered glass when the locally owned shop was hit with another hate crime.

“I didn’t think it would happen to us,” Mun Sung, a Korean immigrant who runs the shop with his wife and son, told TIME. “But it did.”

The First Anti-Asian Attack Against The Plaza Sundries

In the initial attack on March 30, a man with a metal pole metal broke through glass, tore down racks, and shouted racial slurs at the family. “Chinese (expletive)” and Go back to your country,” were among the comments made, according to The Charlotte Observer.

To cover the store’s damage, a family member raised more than $30,000 through a GoFundMe online fundraiser. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have since confirmed 24-year-old Xavier Rashee Woody-Silas was arrested in connection to the attack. Woody-Silas has been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, communicating threats, disorderly conduct, injury to personal property, and resisting a public officer.

The Second Anti-Asian Attack Against The Plaza Sundries

On Tuesday, less than two months after the first anti-Asian attack against their store, Plaza Sundries was struck again.

Mark Sung, Mun’s 35-year-old Asian American son, told TIME reporters that the attacker was a male customer who became angry after he couldn’t afford a pack of cigarettes. The altercation occurred around 11 a.m. when the attacker tried to pay for cigarettes with $0.50 and then $1.

“He said, ‘You Chinese motherf-ckers are 100% going to hell, 100% going to hell,’” Mark recalled, saying that the man repeatedly yelled Asian slurs as he slammed the store’s protective sheet of plexiglass until it shattered.

According to Mark, his mother Joyce was struck in the face by plexiglass, leaving her with a bruised forehead and bloodied hand. Surveillance video footage of the incident shows the man putting down what appears to be a Bible before pounding the plexiglass barrier with his fists. Footage also reveals that no bystanders tried to stop the man or help the family. Mark said he doesn’t fault the store’s customers for not coming to their aid, pointing out the possibility that the attacker could have a dangerous weapon.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, a company called G4S is responsible for security at the Charlotte Transportation Center, the transit center area where the shop is located in downtown Charlotte. The company has not replied to requests for comments from the media outlet. Between March 19, 2020, and February 28, 2021, Stop AAPI Hate received 32 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents in North Carolina, and nine from Charlotte, specifically.

The spike in NC violence comes amid a nationwide surge in anti-Asian hate crimes, with major hubs with high Asian-American populations like New York City, Atlanta, San Jose, and San Francisco being hit the hardest. The rise in hate crimes against Asian women and men may be fueled by racism tied to the coronavirus pandemic, experts believe. 2020 studies found that unfavorable views of Asians reached historic highs last year, with the widespread belief that China was behind the spread of COVID-19 around the world.

Watch: NYC Subway Rider Caught Spraying Asian Man With Febreze

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