California man charged with hate crime for throwing rocks at Asian woman
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A California man who told police that Korean people “were trying to control him” was charged with a hate crime after throwing rocks at an Asian woman and her six-year-old son as they were driving.

Roger Janke of Fullerton, Calif., has also been charged with one felony count of violation of civil rights, one felony count of vandalism, one misdemeanor count of throwing a substance at a vehicle and one felony hate crime, according to a Monday statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

The 38-year-old woman was driving in a Tesla with her six-year-old son in Fullerton, Calif., last week. Janke is accused of throwing two rocks at the vehicle, cracking her windshield and damaging her bumper.

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The district attorney’s office said Janke "later told police Koreans in the area were trying to control him.” 

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement that he would “refuse to tolerate hate in Orange County.” 

“A woman and her child should be able to drive down the street without worrying about being attacked because of the color of their skin. Our commitment to continuing to prosecute hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law is sending a strong message to all the haters out there – there is no room for hate here – or anywhere,” he said. 

Janke has pled not guilty to the charges. He faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison and six months in jail.

The U.S. has seen a surge in violence against Asian Americans, with a recent study showing that crimes against Asian Americans in 16 of the country's largest cities spiked nearly 150 percent in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A gunman last month killed eight people, including six Asian women, in a shooting spree in Atlanta. Officials have not yet charged the shooter with a hate crime or confirmed that the shooting was motivated by race.