A white woman linked with three racist attacks against Asian people has been identified by Californian police.
Lena Hernandez, 56, was named the ‘Torrance Karen’ this week after a video emerged of her verbally harassing a woman who was exercising in Wilson Park and telling her to ‘go back to whatever f****** Asian country you came from’.
After the video went viral, a 42-year-old father came forward with a second video in which the same woman was seen telling him to ‘go home’ and that he would be ‘f****d to death’ while his eleven-year-old son waited nearby.
Another woman came forward on seeing the video to say that the same woman had abused her in a nearby mall last October 2019.
Police have identified the woman who launched a racist rant at an Asian woman exercising at Charles H. Wilson Park in Torrance, California, as 56-year-old Lena Hernandez
On the same day, June 10, Hernandez was filmed in this second video abusing an Asian-American father in the same park as his eleven-year-old-son waited nearby
Hernandez has also been linked to a third racist incident in October 2019 in which she is said to have pushed a woman to the ground. She is pictured here after the alleged attack
‘This unfortunate incident involved an older female suspect verbally assaulting a custodian and then physically assaulting another individual who was acting as a good Samaritan when they attempted to intervene,’ Torrance Police Chief Eve Berg said of the October incident at a Friday press conference.
Crime reports were taken for all three incidents, according to ABC7.
Police announced Friday that they had identified the woman in the video and pictures as Hernandez and they were trying to locate her.
Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey said that the actions seen the videos will not be tolerated and that it was under investigation.
‘Public safety is a high priority in the City of Torrance. And, all visitors to our open spaces should always feel safe and free to exercise while practicing social distancing without conflict. Conduct like that displayed on the video cannot be tolerated,’ he said to NBC Los Angeles.
Police chief Berg would not reveal Friday, however, if Hernandez has committed any crime, according to CBS.
‘We are talking to the city attorney’s office as we speak,’ said Berg.
‘I don’t know what sections there are because a lot of this might possibly not rise to the level of a crime, and yet some of it may.
‘But I’m going to leave that to the investigators who have all the information. I don’t have all that information.’
Hernandez’ racist tirades first came to public attention on Wednesday after friends of alleged victim Sherry Berry shared a video she recorded of a white woman shouting racist abuse at her.
The disturbing incident, which was captured on cell phone footage, happened on a set of stairs at Charles H. Wilson Park in Torrance.
Berry was working out on the staircase when the other woman – now identified as Hernandez – bumped into her.
The younger woman responds to the bump by saying ‘Jesus’ just seconds before Hernandez launches into a racially charged tirade.
Hernandez first came to the public’s attention on Wednesday when Sherry Berry filmed her verbally assaulting her and telling her to ‘go back to whatever f****** Asian country you belong’
Friends of the Berry said she often records her workouts and happened to catch the racist moment on Wednesday. Pictured, Sherry Berry exercising before the incident began
‘Hey, listen to me! We don’t play games here anymore. Next time you ever talk to me like that you’re going to get you a** kicked by my family. They’re going to f*** you up!’ Hernandez says.
Berry questions what she did to cause the sudden outburst, but the older woman continues to hurl insults and says, ‘because you’re an a******.’
‘Why don’t you go somewhere else?’ Hernandez says. ‘Get the f*** out of this world, get the f*** out of these stairs, go back to whatever f****** Asian country you belong in!
‘This is not your place; this is not your home. We do not want you here!’ the woman adds.
She then added: ‘You put that on Facebook, I hope you do because every f****** person will beat the crap out of you from here on out.
‘Don’t you ever say, ‘oh Jesus’ to me when I want to use the stairs you little b****.’
The victim points out that there are other stairs located throughout the park, but this does not quell the woman’s verbal attack.
‘You are a sick, f****** ignorant teenager… Who wears black in California sun? Who the f*** wears black? Are you an idiot? You wear black in California sun? Seriously?’
After Berry’s video went viral, a 42-year-old father who wished to remain anonymous shared a further video from June 10, the same day of Berry’s run-in with Hernandez, which shows her hurling racist abuse at him at the same park.
A second video of Hernandez was posted from the same park on the same day
‘I am not a racist person You need to go home,’ Hernandez is heard telling the 42-year-old father in the second video to emerge of her engaging in a racist tirade
His eleven-year-old son was also in the car and witnessed the abuse as Hernandez is heard telling the man to ‘go home’ on the orders of her government.
Hernandez also mocks the man which accents and by calling him ‘Chinaman’.
‘I am not a racist person. You need to go home,’ she says.
‘I am from here,’ he answers, to which she says, ‘I don’t care about your Facebook. You know how many people can’t stand you being here. I don’t play games, you play games, I play games where you get f****d to death.’
As the man gets out of his car to take her license plate number, Hernandez continues with her mocking accents and pretending that she can’t understand him.
‘Do you know who my family is? Do you know who your family is?’ Hernandez continues.
‘Go home this is from my government. Go home, you are so f****d, you’re gonna get f****d, your kids are gonna get f****d. This is my country, and this is my government. Go home.’
After seeing Sherry’s video, Kayceelyn Salminao also came forward to say that she had filed a police report against who she believed to be the same woman last October.
She shared pictures of a woman who looks to be Hernandez from the day as she claimed that it was the same person who had attacked her at the Del Amo mall on October 11, 2019.
Kayceelyn Salminao posted these pictures to Twitter on Wednesday after seeing Berry’s video. She said that the woman who she pictured after an assault here seemed to be the same person
Salminao said the woman had pushed her to the ground after she intervened to stop Hernandez alleged shouting at a janitor. Pictured is allegedly Hernandez walking away
‘Photos of her walking away while I was waiting for the cops,’ she wrote. ‘This white lady!’
Salminao had come to the aid of a janitor, she says, who Hernandez was alleged shouting at for no reason when the other woman became physical with her.
‘She came out and physically shoves me to the ground, I physically fell to the ground. She points at me and says you better not get up or else,’ Salminao told CBS Los Angeles.
‘She grabs my hair; she pulls my head down and then she’s starting to hit me on the back of my head. She’s saying all those really mean words just like the video.’
Salminao’s husband rushed to her aid and she was able to take pictures of Hernandez before she left.
She filed a police report after the incident but did not hear back from the authorities.
‘Who else has she done this to?’ Salminao asked.
Police have asked any member of the public who has encountered Hernandez to contact them.
Berg said that police had visited multiple locations to find the suspect but have not had any success.
She added that they are looking at the possibility that mental illness may have played a role in the incidents.
The videos emerged during protests for racial justice across the United States.
After the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has sparked widespread demonstrations opposing systematic racism.
Instances of racism against Asian Americans have also surged during the coronavirus pandemic with several examples recorded on a representative list by the Anti-Defamation League.