Suspect Arrested for Punching Asian Couple & Harassing Olympic Athlete

April 19, 2021

ORANGE COUNTY, California—A Corona man allegedly punched two elderly Korean-Americans in the face on Sunday at Grijalva Park in Orange. He has also been identified as the same man who verbally harassed U.S. Olympic karate athlete Sakura Kokumai earlier this month, according to KTLA5.

25-year-old Michael Vivona was arrested Sunday and was booked into Orange County Jail in connection with both incidents. He will most likely be charged with elder abuse, a hate crime, and making physical threats.

“We believe that this attack was racially motivated based on our investigation and our interview that happened afterwards,” Orange Police Department Sgt. Phil McMullin said. “He specifically said that he had a hate towards the Asian community.”

Earlier this month, Olympic athlete Kokumai uploaded footage of Vivona making physical threats and later shouting racial slurs at her while she was working out at the park.

Kokumai explained one woman at the park did eventually come up and ask her if she was OK, but everyone else pretty much ignored what was going on. It’s because of the complacency Kokumai decided to go public with the encounter on her Instagram page.

“I do know the responsibility of having the platform and being an athlete representing the U.S., so I really thought it’s important to raise awareness,” she said. “This is happening. This is real.”

Feature Images via KTLA5 & Instagram

Welcome to Asian Dawn.

A customizable subscription slide-in box to promote your newsletter
[mc4wp_form id="314"]