A customer at a Mountain View Starbucks and an employee at a Cupertino T-Mobile store were attacked last week in separate hate crime incidents, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
A man and a woman were arraigned last week in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto on hate crimes for the attacks, which authorities said were not related.
Clifford Stewart, 61, was charged with felony hate crimes after he attacked a female employee at a T-Mobile phone store in Cupertino on June 1, while screaming racial epithets at her and a co-worker, according to a District Attorney’s Office press release.
Daixin Neill Quan, 33, was charged with a hate crime after she hurled racial epithets at a manager and physically attacked a customer at a Mountain View Starbucks on May 28, telling them that they should “go back to your country,” prosecutors said in a separate press release. They said Quan also tried to attack a female child before the child’s father intervened and police responded.
“Hate crimes are sad and senseless,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “We stand in solidarity with our community against all hatred and will prosecute anyone who crosses the criminal line.”
“Hate crimes send an ugly and ignorant message to our community that certain people are not welcome here,” Rosen said. “My response is that I will do everything in my power to hold criminal racists accountable in court. Hate is not welcome here.”
When a sheriff’s deputy arrested Stewart at the phone store, the suspect threatened to kill the deputy and said to him: “All you piece of (expletive deleted) people sneak into this country, have a baby, and get a free apartment.”
Stewart was arraigned on charges of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, hate crimes, vandalism, and a threat against a police officer.
Prosecutors said that on June 1, Stewart removed a T-Mobile sign from the walkway leading to the store located on Stevens Creek Boulevard and threw it on the street. A 38-year-old Hispanic female victim – an employee of T-Mobile who witnessed the crime – and her co-worker, a 33-year-old Asian man, left the store to retrieve the sign.
According to the press release, Stewart immediately reacted by yelling to both of them “(expletive) Chinese, you don’t belong here” and “stupid Mexicans.” When the woman told Stewart she was going to call the police, Stewart kicked her in the stomach and punched her in the face so violently that she temporarily lost sight in her left eye. The victim was later transported to Stanford Hospital for treatment. The extent of her injuries remains unknown at this time, according to prosecutors.
After the man intervened to defend his co-worker, Stewart fled to the nearby Cupertino Sports Center where he was arrested a short time later by sheriff’s deputies. As he was being detained, Stewart verbally abused a deputy, calling him – among other things – “a Mexican (expletive.)”
Quan was charged with a misdemeanor hate crime, which prosecutor said occurred around 4pm May 28, after she entered a Starbucks in Mountain View and began yelling, without provocation, at the manager, an Indian male, that he [the manager] “should go back to your country” and that the defendant would have him “deported back to Mexico.”
Quan then turned her attention to a 32-year-old Hispanic female victim, after she heard the victim speak with an accent. Quan told the victim, she too, should go back to her country.
Next, Quan began recording the victim with her phone, telling her she would send the video to the Army and Border Patrol. When the victim tried to stop Quan from recording her, Quan attacked her. Quan struck her 7 to 10 times with both hands, using open and closed fists. The victim suffered scratches on her neck, wrist, and the side of her face, according to a press release.
Patrons at the San Antonio Road coffee shop intervened and pulled Quan away from the victim, prosecutors said. At that time, Quan turned to a Hispanic family and told them, “You don’t belong here,” then advanced towards the family’s female child as if trying to attack the child. The father stepped in and placed himself between Quan and his daughter, according to the press release..