CUPERTINO, Calif. — A 61-year-old man is facing hate crime charges after he allegedly attacked a phone store employee in Cupertino while yelling racial epithets, Santa Clara County prosecutors said June 3.
Clifford Stewart was set for arraignment June 3 on charges of assault, vandalism, threatening a police officer and the hate crimes for the attack June 1 at the T-Mobile on Stevens Creek Boulevard, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said Stewart removed a T-Mobile sign from the walkway leading to the store and threw it on the street, and when a Hispanic employee at the store and her Asian co-worker left the business to retrieve the sign, Steward allegedly yelled “(expletive Chinese, you don’t belong here,” and “stupid Mexicans.” When one of the employees said she was going to call the police, Stewart allegedly kicked her in the stomach and punched her in the face, causing her to temporarily lose sight in one eye, prosecutors said. She was taken to Stanford Hospital for treatment and an update on her condition was not immediately available.
Stewart then allegedly fled to a nearby sports store but was arrested shortly afterward by county sheriff’s deputies, and as he was being taken into custody, he allegedly threatened to kill a deputy and said, “All you piece of (expletive) people sneak into this country, have a baby, and get a free apartment,” according to the District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen said about the case, “Hate crimes send an ugly and ignorant message to our community that certain people are not welcome here. My response is that I will do everything in my power to hold criminal racists accountable in court.”