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California driver filmed in racist tirade against Air Force veteran

A woman went into a racist tirade against a Korean-American Air Force veteran during a road rage incident captured on video, calling the man an “ugly Chinese.”

VIA YOUTUBE

By TATIANA SANCHEZ | The Mercury News (Tribune News Service) | Published: May 24, 2018

A woman went into a racist tirade against a Korean-American Air Force veteran during a road rage incident captured on video, calling the man an “ugly Chinese.”

James Ahn, a Fremont, Calif. resident from Seoul, Korea, said the encounter shocked him. “My head went blank,” he said Thursday.

Ahn posted the video on his Facebook page May 21, saying, “I was driving in Fremont last week and this lady started the racial harassment while threatening me on the road only because I wasn’t driving fast enough for her.”

In the video, the unidentified woman tells Ahn to go back to his country.

“This is my country,” she said, adding an expletive.

Fremont police confirmed the account Thursday but said no crime was committed.

“It was determined that both parties yelled hurtful comments to one another during their argument,” the police department said on Twitter in response to the video.

Fremont police could not immediately be reached for comment.

“They said there was nothing they could do about it, so that’s when I decided to post it on my Facebook, hoping it reached people in the Fremont area ... to warn other people,” Ahn told this news organization Thursday.

At one point, the woman, who was traveling with several passengers, made an offensive gesture toward Ahn, using her hands to slant her eyes. “Oh my god! Chinese ugly!” she said.

Ahn said he was driving at the posted speed limit but that the driver wanted him out of the way because she was speeding. When Ahn changed lanes, the driver kept moving toward him and cut in front of him, causing him to slam on his brakes, he said.

“I later realized that this was more like a hate crime than a road rage,” he wrote on Facebook.

Ahn, a naturalized citizen, immigrated to the U.S. with his parents and older sister in 1992 at the age of 12. He joined the military in 2012.

Fremont Mayor Lily Mei said she was “deeply disturbed” to learn of the incident.

“Most disappointing is how the ignorance and reaction of one individual can reflect negatively on our compassionate welcoming community,” Mei said on Facebook Thursday. “Fremont is a city that embraces our diversity that makes us prosper because ALL are welcomed.”

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©2018 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
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