Tacoma, WA – A 15-year-old boy has been arrested for brutally attacking a Korean couple after cell phone footage of the incident went viral (video below).
The violent assault occurred between the 1600-block and the 1800-block of South Verde Street at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2020, as the couple was out for a walk, KING reported.
The couple, who are in their 50s, were on their way home when they encountered a group of four people, according to court documents.
One of the members of the group intentionally collided with the man, then fell to the ground while attempting to sweep the man’s leg out from under him, KING reported.
When the 56-year-old man tried to help his attacker back onto his feet, the teen started pummeling him with his fists, the video showed.
Another clip showed the victim as he tried to kick at his attacker to keep him away, The Seattle Times reported.
The victim’s wife began screaming as the teen ran towards them and started relentlessly punching her husband, the video showed.
The man suffered a broken rib in the attack, KING reported.
The victims immediately reported the assault to police, but didn’t know the video existed until it recently began circulating online.
All police had to go off of prior to the footage was that they were looking for a black male between the ages of 13 and 17, The Seattle Times reported.
The victims’ daughter said they saw the video on the news and contacted the police, Tacoma Police Department (TPD) spokesperson Wendy Haddow told KING.
After they linked the video and the victims, investigators were able to track down the 15-year-old boy they said is responsible for the brutal assault, The Seattle Times reported.
He was taken into custody when he showed up for court in connection with a separate robbery case on April 2, according to KOMO.
The teen has been charged with second-degree assault, KING reported.
The motive for the attack is unknown, police said.
“I just don’t understand why I was attacked,” the victim told KIRO in Korean.
When asked if he believes the fact that he is Asian had anything to do with it, the man said he does.
“I have to think so,” he told KIRO. “I’m Asian, I’m older, and I’m not that big.”
He said he initially thought the group of kids was just roughhousing and had collided with him by accident.
“I thought they were messing around with each other and accidentally bumped into me,” he explained, “so I asked, ‘You okay? You okay?’”
But when the teen started punching him as he tried to help him up, he realized something more sinister was brewing.
“A fist came flying in, hit me right here,” he told KIRO, pointing to his head. “I started bleeding.”
The group ran off after the attack.
Haddow said the assault appears to have been random.
“They had never seen them before, never dealt with them before,” she told CNN.
The couple moved away from Tacoma after the assault because they felt unsafe in the community and didn’t feel police did enough to track down the suspect more quickly, KIRO reported.
TPD later said they simply didn’t have enough information at the time the crime was reported to identify a suspect.
The victim said he also wants the group of violent teens to know he forgives them, and that he wants them to change their behavior moving forward.
“I want him to be better,” he told KIRO. “I want him to know this was bad.”
Watch the incident unfold in the videos below. Warning – Graphic Content:
15 Yo boy was arrested over random attack on Asian couple which left man with a broken rib , pic.twitter.com/nPfunlOUbX
— @KassMedefer (@KMedefer) April 4, 2021
2 Thugs Attack A Random Asian Couple Just Going For A Walk In Tacoma
Two black males attacked a random Asian couple just going for a stroll in their neighbourhood in the suburbs of Tacoma. pic.twitter.com/djfkhFfFYy
— David Morris (@DavidMo73091314) April 4, 2021