Police said Wednesday that they arrested a man who repeatedly threatened an Asian American woman inside a San Francisco bakery and in one instance mimicked a gun with his hand and simulated shooting the people inside.
Darrell Hunter, 45, was arrested Tuesday near the business in the Tenderloin neighborhood after the woman called police, officer Adam Lobsinger said in a statement.
The woman first called officers Sunday when she accused Hunter of entering the bakery and threatening to “shoot Chinese people”. The woman told officers it was the third day in a row Hunter had entered the store and caused a disruption. She said it was the first time she had called police because of the threat of violence, Lobsinger said.
She again called police Tuesday after she said Hunter returned and mimicked a gun with his hand. Hunter had left the business by the time officers arrived, but police found him a few blocks away and arrested him.
The arrest comes amid an increase in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, including several attacks in California. In an attack this month in San Francisco that drew national attention, a man punched 75-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie in the face, leaving her with two black eyes.
And in New York City, a suspect was arrested Wednesday after an Asian American woman was kicked and stomped in an attack caught on surveillance video this week. Activists say Asian-American parents and business owners fear that their children or places of work will be targeted, and many community members are afraid to go out in public.
In San Francisco, Hunter was booked into jail on suspicion of three counts of criminal threats, two counts of burglary, stalking, probation violation and hate crime enhancements. Police didn’t know if he has retained a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.
Hunter is on probation for vandalism after he entered a business four times in two weeks in 2018, yelled racial epithets and in one instance, damaged restaurant furniture.