Lee said he is certain the attack was racially motivated.
“I can tell that they did it because we are Asian,” Lee, 29, told The Post.
A week later, the Houston Police Department is now investigating the March 17 incident as a possible hate crime, a spokesman with the department confirmed to the Houston Chronicle.
Two women allegedly seen on the video attacking Kim have since been charged by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Keaundra Young, 24, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, court records show. Daquiesha Rachel Williams, 22, was charged with assault.
Young’s attorney did not immediately respond to The Post’s messages as of early Thursday. Court records do not list an attorney representing Williams and she did not immediately respond to a message from The Post.
But Young and Williams told KPRC that they believe they were targeted because they are Black. Williams alleged the store owner followed them when they walked into the store because of their race.
“I felt like we were getting profiled because it was a group of Black women, young women at that point,” Williams told the station.
The attack has shaken the Korean American family who, according to Lee, had never faced any issues with customers before the incident. The family moved to Houston from South Korea in 2005 and has a decade of experience in the beauty supply business, Lee said. Uptown Beauty Supply, which the family opened two years ago, is one of two family-owned stores in the Houston area.
On March 17, just before 6:30 p.m., the group of five women walked into the store and headed to the wigs section, Lee said. The women were dancing, yelling and “messing around,” Lee said, and knocked down a wig display. Kim began reorganizing the wigs, Lee said.
“She said, ‘It’s okay. No worries. I’ll fix this,'” Lee recounted. But Kim also told the women not to “play around.”
That’s when, according to Lee, the women began cursing at Kim and yelling “f****** Asian” and “f****** Chinese.” Kim ordered the women to leave the store. Before leaving, Lee said, the women walked up to the register where Lee, his brother, and his father stood and told them: “Asian people shouldn’t sell Black people’s stuff” and “Asian people shouldn’t be in the Black market,” among other racial slurs.
The group finally left, but moments later came back and began throwing more wigs onto the ground. Lee’s father called the police after the women refused to leave, he said, and three members of the group exited.
Then, Lee said, one of the women began throwing jabs into his mom’s face, knocking her to the ground and then hitting her more as she attempted to cover her face.
“[For] no reason,” Lee said. “She just started punching her. It was probably like eight times. She couldn’t say anything but whenever [she] punched my mom, she said, ‘You little Asian girl.’”
The attack ended when Lee and his brother pushed the women outside of the store, the video shows.
In the store’s parking lot, Lee said, Young and Williams attempted to run him and his father over before leaving. Video shows a car driving at Lee and his father, but it’s not clear who is behind the wheel.
Young and Williams both justified their actions to KPRC, saying they were defending themselves. Williams also disputed that the video showed an inaccurate account of what happened in the store. “They showed you certain clips of the video to make it seem like it was these angry Black women just randomly attacking people and that’s not the case,” Williams said.
Young was charged on March 18 in connection with the attempt to hit the store owners with their car, court records show. She was released after posting her $40,000 bail. Williams was charged that same day and accused of hitting one of the family members with her hand. She was released after posting her $100 bond.
Lee said he was scratched on the face and neck, and his mother was left bleeding profusely with a broken nose that will likely need surgery, Lee said.
“She got attacked by random people,” Lee said. “We didn’t do anything wrong but they started violence. As her son, it’s really painful to see her like that. It happened right in front of me. I saw everything.”
Lee said his family has now hired security at the store. “Honestly, I don’t feel safe anymore,” Lee said. “The violence must stop. I don’t want anybody hurt anymore. It’s too much hurt.”