A woman was arrested by the Mountain View Police Department for her alleged involvement in a series of hate crimes downtown last month.
On Friday morning, 39-year-old Karen Inman was arrested after she tried to steal candy and ice cream from a Smart and Final located in the 100 block of East El Camino Real. Police said the suspect was related to two hate crimes targeting the Asian American community last month.
Law enforcement accused Inman of robbing a store’s food and clothing on February 13 in the 200 block of Castro Street. When questioned, the suspect said she was not required to pay for the items because the cashier was Asian.
Police said Inman was also responsible for a battery crime at a downtown restaurant at nearly the same time as her first case. Witnesses said the suspect yelled at one Asian and made racial slurs, and spat at another individual.
While Inman was later arrested by police, the victims did not proceed with prosecution. The suspect was released after authorities determined police officers did not witness either of the crimes against her.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office assessed and reviewed the two cases under the Mountain View Police Department’s policy of investigating hate crimes proactively.
Police said they later issued arrest warrants for Inman after prosecutors determined they could file hate crime charges on the suspect. The suspect did not make racial comments when she was arrested on Friday, police said.
“This case is both disheartening and disturbing. Mountain View is a vibrant community in many ways, thanks to the diversity that exists here. 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,” Mountain View Police Chief Chris Hsiung said.
Police booked Inman into the Santa Clara County Jail for alleged petty theft, robbery, and two counts of violation of civil rights by force or threat, NBC Bay Area reported.