An Asian American man who says a group of kids poured coffee on him while he was commuting on Metro believes he and an Asian woman were targeted because of their race.
Roswell Encina said he was riding the Orange Line Tuesday when it stopped near L’Enfant Plaza.
“I felt this major splash towards me,” he said. “So, when I looked down, I had iced coffee all over my leg, all over my suit jacket, all over my work bag.”
He said he saw a group of kids running off the train and one girl smiling at him.
“Then before the Metro doors closed, she threw another cup at me, and then I realized, oh no, I can’t believe this is happening,” Encina said.
Encina said the kids poured their drink on an Asian woman, too, but left alone the other passengers, who were not Asian.
“Sadly, we still live in a culture of hatred and bigotry,” he said.
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“It’s really troubling and maddening, honestly,” he added.
“This type of behavior is inexcusable,” Metro said in a statement. “We are sorry for the treatment they experienced, and rest assured that Metro Transit Police is investigating.”
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The police report says they are not treating what happened as a hate crime.
“That kind of caught me off guard a little bit, that they’re not investigating it that way,” Encina said.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots here,” he added. “I mean, it was me and another Asian woman.”
Encina said he does not want the kids who poured the coffee on him to be arrested, but simply wants them to understand it was wrong.
According to the group Stop AAPI Hate, more than 9,000 anti-Asian incidents have been reported in the U.S. since the pandemic began.