Metro Transit Police say a video posted on social media showing a young man assaulting an older Asian American woman occurred at a Green Line station in St. Paul early Monday morning.
In the video, two young men appear to be taunting the woman, who is alone. Suddenly, one of the young men leaps into the air and kicks the woman in the face. The men laugh, and one can be seen running away as the video ends.
Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla said investigators received calls about the video Tuesday, and security video footage helped investigators determine the time and location of the incident. Metro Transit Police have yet to locate the victim, he said.
"There's just no reason for this,” he said.
The incident comes as Asian Americans in Minnesota and across the country are reporting racially motivated attacks during the spread of the novel coronavirus which was reported to have originated in China. Padilla didn't offer a possible motive for the Monday attack, and declined to say whether police were investigating it as racially motivated.
Padilla said no suspects are in custody. And he declined to say if police have identified any suspects. However, Padilla said police have been following up on several leads — some of which have come from people who viewed the video and were outraged by it. Many accused the young men of committing a racially biased attack.
One person who expressed his anger posted the name of a high school student whom he believed to have delivered the kick.
“We don’t encourage or discourage people to do what they want on social media,” said Padilla, adding that investigators are determined to find the people responsible. “We develop leads in any way we can.”
St. Paul Police are helping follow up on leads, Padilla said.