Man racially at­tacked out west

Western Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - TORIKA TOKALAU

An Auck­land man who says he was racially at­tacked is warn­ing peo­ple to be more vig­i­lant dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

Sam Xiao Han, 35, said a man yelled racist and ob­scene com­ments at his fam­ily out­side St Pierre’s Sushi shop in Hen­der­son on Oc­to­ber 29.

Po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent, which Han said left his fam­ily trau­ma­tised, es­pe­cially his six-year-old son who wit­nessed the racist tirade.

‘‘We’ve lived here for 16 years, we’re New Zealand cit­i­zens and we’ve never had any­thing like this hap­pen to us be­fore.

‘‘And if it hap­pened to us, it can hap­pen to any­one.’’

The man yelled racist and ob­scene com­ments about Chi­nese and Asian peo­ple and told them to go back to their coun­try .

He also punched Han’s car win­dow and door.

Han said he hoped the in­ci­dent would raise aware­ness on racial crime in New Zealand.

‘‘It’s not some­thing that we can call a grey area be­cause it’s black and white, it is hap­pen­ing.

‘‘With the fes­tive sea­son ap­proach­ing, where a lot of crimes oc­cur, I hope peo­ple are more vig­i­lant not just with racial abuse but other crimes out there.’’

Po­lice said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing Han’s case fur­ther and the ac­cused had been iden­ti­fied.

An ap­peal was made on Face­book to any­one who might have wit­nessed the racist at­tack.

‘‘Po­lice be­lieve there would have been a lot of peo­ple in the carpark at that time and some­one prob­a­bly wit­nessed this un­ac­cept­able and fright­en­ing in­ci­dent,’’ the po­lice post said.

How­ever, Han be­lieved po­lice only re­sponded af­ter his story was fea­tured in the Western Leader.

When he first re­ported the crime, Han said po­lice were not help­ful.

‘‘I un­der­stand that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will take time and I don’t know how much role the me­dia played in this be­cause po­lice did only call me back af­ter the story was writ­ten.’’

A po­lice spokesper­son said they were dis­ap­pointed Han felt that way.

‘‘He can be re­as­sured that his com­plaint is be­ing treated very se­ri­ously and is cur­rently be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.’’

Peo­ple can con­tact Con­sta­ble Marisa Cox at the Hen­der­son Po­lice Sta­tion on (09) 839 0600 or al­ter­na­tively can con­tact Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555 111 if they wit­nessed the in­ci­dent.

SUP­PLIED

Sam Xiao Han said his fam­ily was racially at­tacked in Hen­der­son.

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