Police: Man with pole trashes Asian-owned convenience store

CHARLOTTE — An Asian-owned convenience store in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been trashed by a man who wielded a metal post and yelled racial slurs, according to police and a son of the store’s owners.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the incident occurred Tuesday at a business named Plaza Sundries, which is near the Charlotte Transit Center.

Surveillance footage shows a man pulling a merchandise rack to the floor and swinging a street sign post into the glass on the refrigerators.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said a company that’s responsible for security at the transit center arrested Xavier Rashee Woody-Silas. He was arrested for robbery with a dangerous weapon, communicating threats, disorderly conduct, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer, according to public records. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney.

Mark Sung, whose parents own the shop, said it was hardly the first time such an incident occurred. Sung said his Korean-American family hears insults every day that include statements such as, “Go back to your country.”

The incident occurred during a time when the number of attacks involving Asian Americans is rising. For instance, a woman of Asian descent was attacked on the streets of New York City last week. Eight people were shot and killed in Atlanta last month. Six of them were Asian-American women working in massage parlors.

Hate crimes nationally against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have increased 150% during the pandemic, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.