Man pepper sprays restaurant owner in DC anti-Asian racist attack

WASHINGTON, DC — The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating after a man pepper sprayed a store owner in what is described as a race-motivated attack.

The incident happened Tuesday morning at Valley Brook Tea at 2101 P Street NW.

Police said the suspect yelled at the owner from outside the building, then went inside.

According to an incident report, the suspect yelled phrases like “Chinese tea” and “COVID-19.”

When the owner took out pepper spray and told the suspect to leave, the suspect pulled out his own pepper spray and sprayed the store owner in the face.

The incident report listed the attack as a “race/ethnicity/ancestry/Anti-Asian.”

According to the restaurant owner, the pepper spray got into his mouth. It also stained his clothing.

The owner said this isn’t the first time the tea shop has been targeted, adding, “It seems we’re the only business that keeps getting harassed and attacked in this neighborhood”.