‘Feared for Our Lives': Women Describe Anti-Asian Threats on DC Metro Train

Two women say a man yelled anti-Asian insults and chased them in the Metro Center station in downtown D.C.

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Two women say they were riding a Metro train in downtown D.C. on Thursday afternoon when a stranger yelled racist comments, chased them and threatened to push them onto the tracks. Bystanders intervened and helped them escape.

Friends Erica Kim and Sharon Bryant were riding the Red Line near the Metro Center station when they say a man began to yell anti-Asian insults. 

“Things like ‘ching chong,’ ‘ni hao’ — things like that,” Bryant said. “He was saying things such as, ‘I’m gonna push you guys onto the train tracks.’”

“He was so aggressive and agitated to the point that spit was flying towards us,” Kim added. 

The women said bystanders stepped in to block the man and even got off the train with them at Metro Center to help them. They said that’s when the man started chasing them and bystanders warned them to run.

“In that moment, I genuinely feared for our lives that he was gonna follow us and push us off the tracks,” Kim said. “It’s another reminder of how it is to be an Asian American in the U.S.” 

Bryant and Kim said they ran up an escalator with the aggressor still yelling at them and chasing them. They ran across the street and into the Macy’s store to hide.

Metro Transit Police said they are looking into what happened but declined to share any details, citing an ongoing investigation. 

Metro crime has increased in recent months. In January and February of this year compared to the same time last year, the number of simple assault reports increased from 128 to 183. The number of robbery reports rose from 31 to 67. 

More than 11,000 incidents of anti-Asian hate have been reported since the start of COVID-19, according to the group Stop AAPI Hate. 

Kim said she’s not eager to ride Metrorail again. 

“Overall, it was just a very scary experience. I’m fearful to get on the Metro again, especially alone,” she said. 

Bryant and Kim said they’re grateful to the bystanders who helped them and hope to be able to express their gratitude.

“Thank you for standing up for us. Even your small act of kindness meant so much,” Kim said.

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