An attacker randomly hit an Asian woman in the face with a rock-filled sock in Seattle — and the victim said the pain was “nothing” compared to the fact that the suspect won’t face hate crime charges, according to a new report.
Noriko Nasu, a local Japanese language teacher, parked in the city’s Chinatown-International District on Feb. 25 and walked to the corner to meet her boyfriend, according to court documents obtained by KCPQ.
As the couple returned to Nasu’s car, 41-year-old Sean Holdip suddenly approached and walloped her with the sock, the station reported.
As Nasu lay unconscious, the assailant targeted her boyfriend too, she said.
“He knocked me unconscious, leaving me with fractures in the nose and cheek, broken teeth and a concussion,” she said at a Monday event held by state and local leaders condemning violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to the report.
“I’m still having persistent migraines, dizziness and brain fog, to a point where I can barely function,” she said.
“However, all of this pain was nothing compared to what came next,” she added — referring to the decision to charge Holdip with two counts of second-degree assault, but not a hate crime.
“The worst case, he could be free after 12 to 14 months in prison and could come back to Chinatown to attack more people,” Nasu said.
“Even if he didn’t say anything anti-Asian, his actions speak for themselves,” the victim added. “Even more shocking is that even if he’s charged with a hate crime, it doesn’t add any more jail time to the sentence.”
“[He] stood in a corner and waited for a victim to arrive,” Nasu recalled. “He went out of his way to avoid a non-Asian male in order to strike an Asian female … If this is not a hate crime, then what is it?”
She questioned the “hesitancy and inability” of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to charge Holdip — who is being held in the King County Jail on $100,000 bail — with a hate crime.
“I feel as if I was abused twice, first by the attacker and second by the legal system,” Nasu said. “I’m just horrified to know that so many of us have experienced or are experiencing this hate, and yet nothing has been done. We feel ignored. We want justice. And we want action. Now.”
But the prosecuting attorney’s office argued that the felony assault charges Holdip faces carry a longer sentence than simply a standalone hate crime charge.
While Holdip’s current charge typically calls for 12 to 14 monthsbehind bars, prosecutors are looking to prove the victim suffered extensive injuries, which could keep him in prison for up to 10 years.
“At this point, based on the evidence received from investigators, we have not filed this case as a hate crime because, as horrible as this attack was, we do not believe we can prove a hate crime before a jury beyond a reasonable doubt,” the office said, according to the report.
If investigators submit additional evidence or statements from Holdip, that could change, the outlet reported.
The prosecutor’s office said it takes “hate crimes seriously, including the disturbing national trend of hate crimes against Asian Americans.”