Bay Area Rapid Transit police said Friday they had identified a white man who earlier in the week had verbally and physically assaulted a fellow commuter who is Asian American.
While police know the attacker’s identity, the victim decided not to press charges, officials said. Nevertheless, BART officials will ban the perpetrator from using the transportation system, SFGate reported on Friday.
A video of the attack, which occurred last Monday, has since gone viral on social media, adding to the list of emboldened racists across the country attacking innocent bystanders on public transportation and in other public spaces.
“I’ll beat you down, you n****r,” the man says while wielding his fist in the victim’s face. “I’ll punch you down in your seat. I’ll punch you down,” he adds, before actually assaulting the man, whose name is Charles Wu.
As Wu stood up to defend himself, another commuter intervened while other riders urged him to avoid a physical confrontation. “It’s not worth it,” one commuter is heard saying in the video.
According to SFGate, police boarded the train at Union City station, but the attacker had already gotten off.
“We have successfully identified him and we will be moving forward in seeking a prohibition order to ban him from the system,” BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said, according to the news site.
In a Facebook post, BART officials acknowledged, “The video captures an unfortunate, ugly scene. However, several things went right despite the belligerent and bigoted actions of one individual.”
On the same day the attack occurred, the FBI released its annual study on hate crimes in the U.S. That study, unsurprisingly, found that crimes based on race, sexual or gender identity, and religion are on the rise across the country. According to the report, 2016 hate crime figures increased by 5% compared with those from 2015.