A man who attacked a massage therapist and yelled racial slurs at her is being sought by police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, KOB4 reports.
According to the victim, the man walked into the establishment without a mask. When asked to wear a mask, he became angry and called the massage therapist "Chinese virus" and other slurs while he attacked her.
"Her injuries were head to toe. She had injuries to her feet, her knees. She had muscle strains. She had abrasions everywhere. She also had an extreme amount of inflammation to her chest area and some bruising on her ribs making it difficult to breathe," Sgt. Gerard Bartlett of the Albuquerque police said. "She also discussed not being able to work for a period of time after the attack."
Sgt. Bartlett went on to say that his department is working with the District Attorney's office "to see if these charges rise to the level of a felony crime." The department is also investigating if the crime rises to the level of a hate crime.
"Whether the intent was racially motivated or not, the outcome is that it is one instance of a large pattern, a trend of anti-Asian sentiment, racism words, violent actions against our Asian business community, and it's a direct result of the pandemic and how it's been inaccurate blamed on the Asian community," said Melanie Nguyen with Asian Business Collaborative.
Watch a report on the story from KOB4 below: