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Richmond man tries to stop anti-Asian tirade, becomes target himself

Last Updated May 4, 2021 at 1:02 pm PDT

Summary

Benjamin Wong says he heard a man use the phrases 'China virus' and 'Get out of the country' so he stepped in

Man turned his attention to Wong, swearing at him, referencing his race, and even threatening his life

Wong says his dashcam recorded the encounter, but when he pulled his phone out, the man changed his tone

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – Another local incident of anti-Asian racism has been caught on camera. It happened over the weekend at a drive-thru in Richmond, leaving the victim angry, shocked, and upset.

Benjamin Wong says he was waiting in his car at the Burger King on Steveston Highway on Saturday when he noticed a man standing and yelling at a car being driven by an Asian man farther up ahead in the drive-thru.

“I heard ‘China virus,’ I heard ‘Get out of the country. And I heard, ‘Because of you, the world’s like this,” Wong said.

Wong, who’s Asian himself, thought he had to do something, so he yelled at the man. That prompted him to walk to up Wong’s car, which has a dashcam that caught the encounter.

He repeatedly swore at Wong, referenced his race, and even threatened his life.

“At one point, he said, ‘Chinese mother f—–. After that, he said, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ Right after that, I pulled out my phone and he changed his tone. He pretended to be nice,” he said.

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Wong said he was also concerned because the man was not wearing a mask and came very close to his window. He says while he wasn’t afraid of things turning physical, he was worried that the man was spitting into his car.

“The reason I posted it on my social media … was to bring awareness that these things still happen, even though I may not experience it on a day-to-day basis,” Wong said.

“I’ve heard stories of people being a racist in the news, but I didn’t believe [it was] that common. Until that day, I didn’t experience it myself. It was shocking,” he added.

Wong says he reported the incident to the new BC Hate Crimes hotline (1-855-462-5733).

Police departments around the Lower Mainland have reported a spike in anti-Asian hate crime over the last year.

In a statement, Richmond RCMP say they are looking into this particular incident.

“Hate has no place in Richmond, and the Richmond RCMP gives all allegations of this nature the fullest attention and oversight. In addition to a criminal investigation, Richmond RCMP also reviews these matters to see if perhaps there is some mental health nexus to this event. The investigation is ongoing and our officers are working to identify and locate the suspect,” RCMP say in the statement.