Three teenagers were taken into custody Wednesday after an Asian American woman was allegedly taunted and kicked at a Minnesota railway station just after midnight Monday, officials confirmed to NBC News.
The alleged incident occurred in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and was captured on a video later posted to social media. The video appeared to show the teenagers, who first taunted the woman before one of them kicked her in the face. They then appeared to flee the railway station.
No trains were running at the time, and the Metro Transit Police Department has not yet confirmed why the individuals were at the station.
Using the video, as well as several security cameras at railway stations, investigators were able to determine the station at which the alleged assault occurred and identify the three suspects, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old, Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla said in an email.
The department will present the case to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, which will determine any charges, Padilla said. He was unable to comment on whether the alleged assault was racially motivated.
The incident comes on the heels of a string of assaults and reported hostilities directed toward Asian Americans in recent months, as some have blamed them for the spreading coronavirus. On Sunday, a New York City man attempted to forcibly remove an Asian nurse from a subway car, saying "Hey Chinaman, you're infected," before threatening physical harm.
In a span of just four weeks beginning near the end of March, the STOP AAPI HATE reporting center said it received nearly 1,500 reports of hostility toward Asian Americans as a result of the virus.
Padilla was unable to comment on whether the victim sustained any injuries or needed medical attention.