Authorities arrested a San Francisco man and charged him with a hate crime following an attack and sexual assault of an American-Filipina woman in a Caltrain station in San Jose last wee, said the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The victim, a 26-year-old medical worker, named Tiffany, did not want her last name revealed. She said she was on her way to work in Palo Alton and rode the Caltrain at San Jose’s Diridon Station.
However, the suspect, 32-year-old Johan Strydom, is believed to have grabbed Tiffany by her neck, dragged her to the ground, and threw her by her hair. The suspect then allegedly yelled, “F*ck you, Asian,” with the intent of raping Tiffany.
“I’ve never seen him in my life. I’ve never seen him at the station,” Tiffany said.
Bystanders at the train station were yelling for Strydom to stop his assault on Tiffany. The victim was on a call with her boyfriend before the attack. He later showed up at the scene to detain the suspect with the help of other witnesses.
Video footage showed the aftermath of the attack where witnesses followed Strydom, who was seen laughing. He later uttered another racial slur, saying, “You guys gonna come and save that h*e?” Police later arrested Strydom near the SAP Center.
Authorities arraigned Strydom on Friday, March 12, with charges of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and assault with an intent to commit rape and assault. They also charged him with hate crime enhancement, and he faces prison time if convicted.
“A hate crime against a Filipino woman is an attack against all of us. This is every woman’s nightmare, and this is our community’s nightmare. This is also a tale of heroism. Our community came to this woman’s aid and stopped the attack. Hate crimes are not someone else’s problem. They are mine. They are yours. It will take all of us to confront them,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said, the Asian Journal reported.
Strydom cried when the description of the attack was read during his arraignment. Deputy public defender Meghan Piano represented the suspect as his attorney. Piano said the suspect suffered from mental illness and that he was “sex-deprived.” The suspect is currently in official custody without bail and will enter a plea in May.