A man was arrested on hate crime charges after a TikTok video captured him harassing two Asian customers at a California In-N-Out Burger, hurling several homophobic and racist remarks at them.
Jordan Douglas Krah, 40, of Denver, Colorado, was arrested on Monday by San Ramon police and booked at the Martinez Detention Facility on two counts of committing a hate crime, according to a police department news release.
According to police, Krah allegedly confronted two In-N-Out diners, Arine Kim and Elliot Ha, inside an In-N-Out restaurant in San Ramon, California, on Christmas Eve. Kim and Ha had been recording a TikTok video of Ha’s reaction to Kim’s food order, when Krah asked them if they were filming themselves.
Ha responded that they were recording themselves, to which Krah responded: “You’re weird homosexuals.”
Krah then proceeded to ask Ha whether he has gay sex with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un before threatening to spit in Kim and Ha’s faces, hurling anti-Asian and anti-gay slurs at the pair. He also declared himself a “slave master,” and told the two, “See you outside and what I can do to him.”
“The alarm bells were ringing inside our head, like we are in danger,” Kim told San Francisco area CBS affiliate KPIX. “He was staring us down for 10 to 15 minutes through the window and his gaze never averted from us.”
Kim even questioned in the TikTok video whether Krah might try to pull a gun on them. Because of his threats, Ha and Kim waited for the restaurant to close and asked In-N-Out employees to walk them to their car.
Kim told NBC affiliate KNTV that she has previously been the victim of other racist attacks and decided to post the TikTok video in the hope that others will take such threats seriously.
The video went viral online, being viewed more than 13 million times, eventually catching the attention of Chief Denton Carlson of the San Ramon Police Department, who contacted Ha and Kim and began an investigation.
According to The Hill, San Ramon police used social media to help identify and arrest Krah after he was photographed in a silver Mustang with Florida plates following an allegedly similar incident with a different family on Christmas Day. In that incident, Krah is accused of harassing Abigail Halili and her siblings, who are Filipino, as they peeked into a store in downtown Danville, California, again launching into a racist rant.
“The man yelled, “You guys are gonna vandalize the shop, you’re gonna rob the place, I don’t trust you guys. Leave! You guys are Filipino idiots!” Halili told Fox affiliate KTVU.
Hate-related incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander people have increased in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 10,900 known hate incidents occurring between March 2020 and December 2021, according to the advocacy organization Stop AAPI Hate. Most altercations were verbal, and more than half took place in public spaces.
It remains unclear whether Krah has obtained a lawyer. A search of Contra Costa Superior court records does not bring up any information on a Jordan Krah, and a search of Contra Costa jail records does not show anyone with that name still in custody.
Kim and Ha told The New York Times they initially hesitated to press charges, fearing that the verbal altercation at In-N-Out would not be taken seriously by authorities, but have decided to move forward with charges against Krah.
“This entire situation feels very surreal to me because I really didn’t think anyone would care,” Kim told the newspaper.
“The San Ramon Police Department strives to ensure everyone in our community feels safe and welcome,” the San Ramon Police Department said in a statement. “We will continue to take swift and diligent legal action against acts of hate to help create an inclusive place for all to live, work, and visit.”
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