Another alarming instance of anti-Asian violence observed across the U.S. led to the arrest of a woman and the possibility of a hate crime prosecution after she was caught on camera yelling racist epithets and assaulting ladies of South Asian heritage in a suburban Dallas parking lot.
Esmeralda Upton, 58, of Plano, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and making a terroristic threat, according to a statement from the Plano police on Thursday. She was imprisoned with a $10,000 bond.
As she and her three companions were leaving a restaurant after dinner, Rani Banerjee told Dallas TV station WFAA that Upton approached them in the parking lot.
“Suddenly, we heard this woman yelling at us and started coming toward us. We were shocked by the racial slurs that she used and combative attitude,” Banerjee said.
Four Indian women were verbally abused, physically attacked, and threatened at gunpoint by this disgusting racist woman who has been identified as Esmi Armendarez Upton.— BrooklynDad_Defiant!☮️ (@mmpadellan) August 25, 2022
Do your thing, Twitter.
Make her infamous.pic.twitter.com/muYvoiHUYJ
The attack was opposed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“The level of vitriol and alleged physical assault against four Indian-American women in Plano is truly appalling,” CAIR-executive DFW’s director, Faizan Syed, spoke to the TV station. “This type of hate has no place in North Texas, and we call on law enforcement to investigate this incident as a hate crime.”
According to the police report, the event is being looked into as a possible hate crime. For Upton, the jail had no listed attorney.
The altercation took place on Wednesday shortly after 8 o’clock. Upton was seen in a widely shared video ranting at them, questioning their citizenship in the country, threatening to shoot them, and physically attacking Banerjee, who was filming the exchange on her phone.
Violence against Asians has drastically increased in recent years. The eight people slain in a shooting at massage parlors in and around Atlanta last year included six women of Asian heritage, which heightened outrage and terror among Asian Americans.
A man was charged with a hate crime and other offenses earlier this month after he was allegedly responsible for shooting three Asian American ladies at a salon in Dallas’ Koreatown. And a West Texas man who attacked an Asian family outside a Midland department shop in 2020 on the grounds that he believed they were Chinese and responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak was earlier this month given a 25-year prison sentence.