San Jose police say they are investigating a case of vandalism after a man had two of his windows shattered claiming it happened because he is Asian.
Surveillance video shows what began as an innocent conversation between two men in San Jose. A misunderstanding that took a racial turn – and later ended violently.
“When he drove up here and stop the car he asked about the flag,” said Thien Ly.
He said a man he never saw before stopped in front of his house last Thursday in San Jose.
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The man originally asked Ly about the dinosaur flag in the front yard, but Ly misunderstood, thinking the man was asking him about his bike and the words on the side of it: “Taga.”
He told the man he could look for it online then turned to walk away.
“It turned when he thinks I was brushing him off,” said Ly. “Because when I said Taga, oh he said 'is that a Filipino thing?’ I was like ‘no.’ Then he looked inside and saw my name and he said ‘Oh you Vietnamese,’” said Ly who added he started feeling uncomfortable.
He quickly took his children inside.
The man started video taping Ly and then started calling him names.
“Before he left he called me a petaphille creep,” said Ly.
Video taping Ly and angry, the man drove off.
Two hours later, Ly captured him on his neighbor’s surveillance camera. You can hear what appears to be the same man smash two of his car windows.
San Jose police are looking into the case as vandalism and they said they don’t think this is a hate crime or racially motivated.
“I feel he did it because I’m Asian,” said Ly. “I don’t see anything that would provoke him to get out of the car, call me names and try to make me do something to him.”
Ly says it’s important to tell his story especially at a time when people like him are being attacked.
“Why am I speaking out? I don’t want it to happen again,” he said. “Make sure the community knows about it maybe someone in the community recognizes him and report him.”