Millbrae man charged with hate crime against Chinese woman

in Crime

A 72-year-old man is scheduled for a pretrial conference this week on misdemeanor hate crime charges connected to an attack on a Chinese woman in Millbrae last year.

At about 11 a.m. March 20, 2020, the victim was walking her dog in her Millbrae neighborhood when Jack Louis Viele emerged from the garage of his home in the 900 block of Hillcrest Boulevard and approached her, according to prosecutors.

The victim reportedly advised Viele about the need for social distancing amid the pandemic, after which Viele “repeatedly” asked her if she was from China. While he was roughly six to 10 feet away, Viele “leaned forward and spat” at the victim and also “threw a screwdriver and spray bottle” at her, prosecutors said.

He “then lifted the bottom of his robe to his chest while gesticulating and stated, “F— you, Chinese. F— you, China” nearly two dozen times, prosecutors said.

The victim captured the altercation on her phone and walked to the Millbrae substation. A San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputy responded to Viele’s home, where Viele “admitted he was racist and did not like Chinese persons.”

Viele allegedly told the deputy, who is Asian, “Mask on, because of you people, you Chinese.” As deputies left his property he also yelled about how sanctuary cities were wrong, prosecutors say.

Viele is out of custody on his own recognizance.

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