A woman attacked two Cleveland beauty store owners last Friday after her prepaid debit card had been declined.
Video obtained by WJW-TV, Cleveland’s Fox affiliate, captures the attack at Chic Plus Beauty Supply.
The surveillance video showed the woman, who has not been identified, knocking down a male owner and dragging a female owner from behind the counter by the hair while punching her. She also destroyed counters and displays.
Separate video showed the conversation leading up to the brutal attack.
“May I please have my items please? I will leave and get out of your hair,” she said in the video. “You will never see me again.”
She also said she was “not being belligerent.”
“All I’m trying to do is get my items,” she said.
The male owner responds that her card had been declined.
“It is not cleared,” he said. “I cannot give you anything because it is not cleared.”
A call by Newsweek to Chic Plus Beauty Supply was not answered, and a voicemail had not been returned Tuesday afternoon. A phone call and email to the Cleveland Police Department had also not been returned.
The owners’ son, David Jo, said in an interview with WJW, he couldn’t even finish watching the video.
“Watching your patents get thrust around and dragged around the store they worked so hard for…I couldn’t finish watching the video, obviously,” he said.
He said his parents explained “very clearly” that she couldn’t leave with any products because her card was declined.
“That seemed to set her off,” he said.
He said his mother “has bruises all over her body” and “her hair has been pulled out.” His father’s mouth was “all bloodied up” following the attack.
Watching the video left him feeling helpless, he told WJW.
“I don’t think anybody expects their parents to get brutally beaten like that,” he said. “It’s pretty tough, I felt very helpless.”
WJW reported the owners are originally from South Korea, but have lived in the Cleveland area for 25 years. Police told the station the woman would face assault and vandalism charges.
Police also told the station they are investigating whether or not the attack could be a hate crime. Hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked in the past year. A Pew Research Center poll found 81 percent of Asian Americans believed violence against them was increasing. Thirty-two percent said they feared someone may threaten or physically attack them.
Six hate crimes against Asian-Americans were reported in Cleveland in 2020, an increase from two in 2019, according to a report from the Study of Hate & Extremism.