Asian shop owner punched in the face in Washington, DC

A Washington, D.C., shop owner was punched in the face during a confrontation with a customer Tuesday. 

Max Trading owner Chong Hu Lu said he was punched in the face after a customer got upset about his store’s policy of not removing the jewelry from the case and started to yell obscenities, according to a tweet posted by WRC reporter Aimee Cho on Wednesday.

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Surveillance video was released showing the attack, which resulted in Lu receiving 14 stitches, according to the Cho's post. 

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The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) shared in a statement details of the incident in an email to The Hill. 

On Tuesday, May 4, at approximately 1:46 pm, the suspect entered a business located in the 1300 block of 4th Street NE. The suspect asked the store owner to look at jewelry behind the glass. The store owner refused and the suspect assaulted the store owner and fled the scene,” the MPD said in its statement. “The victim was transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. This incident is being actively investigated as potentially being motivated by hate/bias. We are asking for the public’s assistance – please call 202-727-9099 or text 50411 if you have any information.”

This incident comes as violence targeting Asian Americans has become more common during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Senate passed a hate crimes bill last month in order to address the surge in anti-Asian attacks.