Knife-wielding man held on hate crime charges after threatening to murder Asian store worker
Police car lights (Shutterstock)

A 19-year-old Washington man has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly threatened an Asian store worker, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports.

Favian Isaiah Oseguera was also charged with with second-degree assault in relation to the June 17 incident where the worker called police to say a man threatened to kill him. Court documents say Oseguera threatened the worker, who was employed at the Valley View Market in Sunnyside, with a knife and said he would come back later with a gun.

When he was arrested, Oseguera was on pretrial release on a charge of second-degree malicious mischief and was out on bail on a second-degree assault charge. When being interviewed by police, Oseguera called the worker a “(expletive) Asian” and then told a jail booking officer that he was going to “(expletive) that Asian up" -- which led to the hate crime charge.

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Speaking to the Herald, Dori Peralta Baker, executive director of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Yakima County, said the incident was not the first time Asians have been targeted in the area.

“People are always looking for excuses,” Baker said. “It’s basically, I think, they’re unhappy and want to blame everybody except themselves. Whatever the situation is, there is often a scapegoat, and it’s the immigrant family that is trying to make a living for themselves.”