A San Francisco man was arrested Wednesday for a hate crime and sexual assault, following an incident in which he allegedly hurled racial slurs at a young Asian woman and assaulted her in a pedestrian tunnel at San Jose's Diridon Station.
As the Mercury News reports, 32-year-old Johan Strydom is scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon at San Jose's Hall of Justice and he's charged with assault with intent to commit rape and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, both with hate-crime enhancements.
The incident occurred around 7 a.m. Wednesday when a 26-year-old woman was talking to her boyfriend on a cellphone while waiting for a delayed Caltrain train in the pedestrian tunnel. According to police, Strydom grabbed the woman by the neck and threw her to the ground on her back. She later told news station KTVU that he was yelling, "'Fuck you, Asians, this is completely bullshit,' All while he was keeping me on the ground with his grip on my hair."
Witnesses at the train station came to the woman's aid, and so did the woman's boyfriend, who was driving in his car nearby and heard the attack begin over the phone.
Witnesses say that they followed Strydom out of the station to a nearby bus station and he yelled back at them, "You guys gonna come and save that ho?"
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Jing-Lan Lee tells the Mercury News that Strydom was arrested a few minutes later outside the SAP Center.
"This is every woman’s nightmare, and this is our community’s nightmare," said District Attorney Jeff Rosen in a statement. "This is also a tale of heroism. Our community came to this woman’s aid and stopped the attack. Hate crimes are not someone else’s problem. They are mine. They are yours. It will take all of us to confront them."
This is the latest in a string of attacks on Asian Americans around the Bay Area that have been garnered national attention for their disturbing frequency and brutality. On Thursday, in his first prime-time televised address, President Joe Biden said that these attacks are "un-American" and "must stop."
Also on Thursday, a 75-year-old Asian man in Oakland died from injuries he sustained after being shoved to the ground by a thief in the Adams Point neighborhood on Tuesday morning. The suspect, 26-year-old Teaunte Bailey, is a known felon who just a month earlier had allegedly committed a home-invasion burglary in which he injured an elderly person.
It's not clear if Strydom has any previous record of violence.
Photo via San Jose Police