'Go back to Mexico': California woman kicks people at taco shop while awaiting charges for a separate hate crime

On Friday, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported that a Bay Area woman has now been arrested twice on two separate suspected racially-motivated attacks.

"Laura Vawter, 62, of Belmont, is accused of entering a laundromat in San Carlos Oct. 28 and attacking a man speaking Spanish on the phone, telling the man to 'go back to Mexico,' the DA’s Office said," said the report. "Following her arrest and release, she was subsequently arrested again for allegedly yelling and kicking staff and customers at Taqueria El Grullense on El Camino Real in Redwood City Nov. 2, the DA’s Office said."

According to prosecutors, Vawter may be suffering from mental health issues, and "made numerous statements that were out of touch with reality."

"She has been charged with a misdemeanor hate crime, battery and other misdemeanors," said the report. "Vawter’s next court date is Nov. 9, and she remains in jail."

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Racially-motivated incidents around the country increased during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven in large part by people who wrongly believed Asian-Americans had imported the virus to the United States. Many parts of the country have seen another increase in hate crimes this year, particularly against transgender people amid GOP cultural panics about their presence in schools and a child-friendly events.

Another high-profile hate crime occurred in North Texas in August, when a Plano woman was charged with assault and terroristic threats for an attack on four Indian women in a parking lot.