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Woman who yelled anti-Asian epithets during theft in Mountain View arrested

Police chief: 'Hate crimes have not and will not be tolerated in Mountain View.'

Karen Inman. Courtesy MVPD.

Mountain View police arrested a 39-year-old Greenbrae woman Friday (March 5) after she allegedly yelled racial epithets while stealing from a store in downtown Mountain View last month, according to a police press release.

Karen Marie Inman was arrested around 11 a.m. March 5 as she allegedly attempted to steal candy and ice cream from a Smart and Final in the 100 block of East El Camino Real. She had previously been identified as a suspect in a theft from a store in downtown Mountain View in February and a subsequent battery at a downtown restaurant in which she allegedly made comments about the victims' ethnicity, police said.

On Feb. 13, officers were called to a market in the 200 block of Castro Street on reports that a woman had just taken food and clothing from the store and refused to pay for them. During the theft, the woman told the victims she didn't have to pay because of their Asian ethnicity, according to police.

A few minutes later, police spotted Inman walking downtown and detained her. While interviewing her, officers were told of a second call about a woman matching Inman's description who had yelled racial epithets at two patrons in a downtown Mountain View restaurant, one of whom was of Asian descent, according to police.

A 36-year-old man was eating outside with a friend near Castro and Villa streets when Inman approached him and, unprovoked, allegedly spat on him. She then used an ethnic slur and told him to go back to “where you came from,” the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said in a statement on Monday when announcing charges against her.

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A fellow diner, who had seen Inman approach other people of Asian descent in the area but did not know how she spoke with them, called police, the DA's Office said.

Police said officers interviewed the victims of both February incidents and neither party wanted to seek prosecution. Because neither crime was witnessed by police, Inman was released.

MVPD policy is to proactively investigate possible hate crimes, so officers continued the investigation and brought the case against Inman to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office for review. Officials at the DA's Office determined hate crime charges could be brought against Inman, and issued a warrant for her arrest. There was no indication that in the attempted theft March 5 (when Inman was arrested) that she made remarks regarding anyone's ethnicity.

Inman was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of petty theft, robbery, and two counts of violation of civil rights by force or threat.

“This case is both disheartening and disturbing. Mountain View is a vibrant community in many ways thanks to the diversity that exists here,” said Chief Chris Hsiung. “Hate crimes have not and will not be tolerated in Mountain View and as this case demonstrates, we take these crimes seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent.”

Inman faces possible incarceration if convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime and a charge of battery, the DA's Office said. Her arraignment is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 1:31 p.m. at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

“Our community stands together against any hatred and racism against the Asian Pacific Islander community,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “It is ignorant. It is wrong. And when it is criminal -- those who are charged will face the full power of my Office to hold them accountable.”

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Woman who yelled anti-Asian epithets during theft in Mountain View arrested

Police chief: 'Hate crimes have not and will not be tolerated in Mountain View.'

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 10:31 am
Updated: Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 12:09 pm

Mountain View police arrested a 39-year-old Greenbrae woman Friday (March 5) after she allegedly yelled racial epithets while stealing from a store in downtown Mountain View last month, according to a police press release.

Karen Marie Inman was arrested around 11 a.m. March 5 as she allegedly attempted to steal candy and ice cream from a Smart and Final in the 100 block of East El Camino Real. She had previously been identified as a suspect in a theft from a store in downtown Mountain View in February and a subsequent battery at a downtown restaurant in which she allegedly made comments about the victims' ethnicity, police said.

On Feb. 13, officers were called to a market in the 200 block of Castro Street on reports that a woman had just taken food and clothing from the store and refused to pay for them. During the theft, the woman told the victims she didn't have to pay because of their Asian ethnicity, according to police.

A few minutes later, police spotted Inman walking downtown and detained her. While interviewing her, officers were told of a second call about a woman matching Inman's description who had yelled racial epithets at two patrons in a downtown Mountain View restaurant, one of whom was of Asian descent, according to police.

A 36-year-old man was eating outside with a friend near Castro and Villa streets when Inman approached him and, unprovoked, allegedly spat on him. She then used an ethnic slur and told him to go back to “where you came from,” the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said in a statement on Monday when announcing charges against her.

A fellow diner, who had seen Inman approach other people of Asian descent in the area but did not know how she spoke with them, called police, the DA's Office said.

Police said officers interviewed the victims of both February incidents and neither party wanted to seek prosecution. Because neither crime was witnessed by police, Inman was released.

MVPD policy is to proactively investigate possible hate crimes, so officers continued the investigation and brought the case against Inman to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office for review. Officials at the DA's Office determined hate crime charges could be brought against Inman, and issued a warrant for her arrest. There was no indication that in the attempted theft March 5 (when Inman was arrested) that she made remarks regarding anyone's ethnicity.

Inman was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of petty theft, robbery, and two counts of violation of civil rights by force or threat.

“This case is both disheartening and disturbing. Mountain View is a vibrant community in many ways thanks to the diversity that exists here,” said Chief Chris Hsiung. “Hate crimes have not and will not be tolerated in Mountain View and as this case demonstrates, we take these crimes seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent.”

Inman faces possible incarceration if convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime and a charge of battery, the DA's Office said. Her arraignment is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 1:31 p.m. at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

“Our community stands together against any hatred and racism against the Asian Pacific Islander community,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “It is ignorant. It is wrong. And when it is criminal -- those who are charged will face the full power of my Office to hold them accountable.”

Comments

Dox
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Mar 8, 2021 at 3:48 pm
Dox, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 3:48 pm

This sounds like a mental health issue.


Spencer
Registered user
The Crossings
on Mar 9, 2021 at 4:18 pm
Spencer, The Crossings
Registered user
on Mar 9, 2021 at 4:18 pm

She looks crazy. And her name is Karen....


Tal Shaya
Registered user
another community
on Mar 10, 2021 at 12:14 pm
Tal Shaya, another community
Registered user
on Mar 10, 2021 at 12:14 pm

The press just keeps regurgitating this story, which is over a week old. Hate crime? Oh, come on. The woman is obviously mentally ill. Locking her up for 10 years with a hate crime enhancement is not justice. Why not focus on the violent thugs in Oakland instead, who are assaulting Asian elderlies? Shame on you, Mountain View.


MyOpinion
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Mar 25, 2021 at 12:15 pm
MyOpinion, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 25, 2021 at 12:15 pm

The 3 recent Asian hate crimes in the south bay involved unstable people, all transients, all exhibiting irrational violent behavior. To label these as 'hate crimes' ignores the real issue, we have no treatment or residential facilities for the mentally ill. Even if help is available they can (and usually do) refuse that help. Clearly, there is an alarming increase in hate crimes against the Asian community, incited by the former president using slurs such as Kung Flu, which is the real crime here.


Amber Kerr
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2021 at 1:12 pm
Amber Kerr, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 26, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Oh my gosh, this is the same lady who tried to steal my daughter's scooter at the Castro Street Starbucks in early March. I think it might even have been the same day she was arrested... I don't have a record of the exact day it happened. My 8-year-old daughter and I were enjoying our Starbucks lunch in the shade of the big spruce tree, with her scooter parked near the front door of the business. As we were halfway through our lunch, a concerned bystander came up to us and said, "Is that your scooter? I think somebody is trying to steal it." I ran up the street after the thief and caught up with her at the corner of Castro and High School Way. Rather than apologizing and giving the scooter back to me, she hung onto it, glared at me, and said I was the one doing something illegal because I hadn't put a lock on the scooter. After several moments of fruitless arguing, I had to physically reach out and grab the scooter away from her - thank goodness she didn't punch me or anything, but it was scary. Sounds like she has some real problems. I hope she's able to get mental health treatment within the correctional system.


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