Anti-Asian hate crime charge filed against woman who allegedly spit on man

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office has charged a 39-year-old woman with committing an anti-Asian hate crime after she allegedly spit on a stranger and told him to go back to "where you came from." 

Authorities said Karen Marie Inman of Greenbrae is responsible for the unprovoked attack that occurred on Feb. 13 in Mountain View. The district attorney's office said a 36-year-old man was eating outside with a friend near Castro and Villa streets when Inman approached him and spat on him. She then used an ethnic slur.

"Our community stands together against any hatred and racism against the Asian Pacific Islander community," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. "It is ignorant. It is wrong. And when it is criminal - those who are charged will face the full power of my Office to hold them accountable."

Officials said another diner, who witnessed Inman approaching other people of Asian descent but did not know how she spoke with them, called police. 

If Inman is convicted, she could be incarcerated.

There has been a rise in attacks on the Asian community during the COVID pandemic, which health officials believe is fueled in part by falsehoods that pin the blame on Asian-Americans for spreading the virus.