On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that a man from Diamond Bar, California was arrested on federal charges after using his car to block protesters at a "Stop Asian Hate" rally.
"The indictment claims that Steve Lee Dominguez, 56, purposefully ran a red light, blocked the path of peaceful and law-abiding protesters, and yelled racial slurs," reported The Beast's Alice Tecotzky. "While no injuries were reported during the incident, the indictment indicates that Dominguez only narrowly missed colliding with a 9-year-old child attempting to cross the street. He reportedly told protesters to 'go back to China' before pulling over and continuing to yell other slurs and threats from outside of his car."
According to the DOJ charging statement, Dominguez then tried to anonymously report the protesters to police as having blocked the street and endangered his life.
"Dominguez ... pulled his car over some distance away from the intersection, got out of the car and continued to yell racial epithets and threats at the demonstrators," said the statement. "He then called the police, identified himself as 'John Doe' and falsely reported to police that the rally participants were blocking the street and he had to run a red light 'because they were about to trample my car,' the indictment alleges. He also allegedly requested that police 'get some control out' at the intersection."
Dominguez is reportedly being charged with two counts of bias-motivated interference with federal protected activities.
Anti-Asian hate crimes have risen sharply in the U.S. in recent years, increasing 339 percent since last year alone. Many of these attacks were allegedly motivated by a mistaken belief that Asian-Americans were responsible for bringing COVID-19 to the country.