In Los Angeles, an 83-year-old woman was assaulted on the street in Koreatown on Wednesday afternoon. The attack, which became the subject of a viral social media post, is reportedly not being investigated as a hate crime, despite initial claims that the assailant had yelled "white power" before running off.
No evidence that an assault on an elderly Korean woman, which went viral on Facebook, was racially motivated, police say
27-year-old Alexis Duvall, is accused of punching the elderly Asian woman in the back of her head, causing her to fall to the ground. The victim suffered a cut to her left cheek and scrapes to her knee. Duvall was arrested after a bystander chased and apprehended her, then called police to report the incident. The suspect gave her name as "Patty Garcia," but police say fingerprints identified her as Alexis Duvall.
It wasn't immediately clear what motivated the attack. According to LAPD Detective Jung Kim, the assault seemed "random" and unprovoked, and Duvall appears to be a homeless woman who may have been mentally ill or under the influence. She was reportedly "incoherent, rambling on," Kim told the Los Angeles Daily News.
Despite initial reports that the attack was racially motivated, it's not being investigated as a hate crime. Police say none of the witnesses to the incident told investigators they they heard the suspect make racial remarks.
"We are not getting consistent statements saying this was hate motivated," Kim said.
Seng Vongphrachanh, a Koreatown resident who arrived at the scene immediately after the assault, told the Los Angeles Times that Duvall yelled "power is power" and the N-word as he and another man chased after her.
In a Facebook post, user Linda Lee posted a photo of the victim being treated for injuries on her face. Lee reported that the attacker "walked by the Korean grandma, yelled 'white power!' and ran off." The post, which has since been made private, was shared widely on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
Duvall was booked on suspicion of battery and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
More here: LAPD says alleged Koreatown assault may not be 'hate motivated'