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‘We just want to be left alone in peace.’ Asian-American owned business robbed, trashed in Charlotte Transit Center

Plaza Sundries owners say the robber yelled racial slurs during the attack
Updated: Apr. 2, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A robber trashed a convenience store at the Charlotte Transit Center and allegedly yelled racial slurs at the store’s Asian American owners during broad daylight. Police arrested a man, but it isn’t bringing peace to the victims.

Mark Sung says his parents, Joyce and Mun Sung, have owned Plaza Sundries convenience store in the Charlotte Transit Center since it opened in 1995. On Tuesday afternoon, a man came into the convenience store with a metal bar and began damaging store merchandise and equipment. Sung, says he and another man yelled racial slurs at Sung’s family.

“He’s a regular,” Sung said. “But that day he just walks in the store with a metal pole. No one sees it at first until he starts hitting things with it. … His friend came towards the end, stuck his head through the door and said ‘That’s what you get. That’s what you get you Chinese motherf******.’”

According to CMPD and a spokesperson for the Charlotte Transit Center, G4S Company Police immediately arrested 24-year-old Xavier Rashee Woody-Silas. He is facing six charges including damage to personal property, robbery with a dangerous weapon, communicating threats, misdemeanor larceny, disorderly conduct, resist, delay and obstruct.

The CATS spokesperson said police are also pursuing a potential charge under North Carolina’s hate crimes statute for the racial slurs Woody-Silas is accused of saying to the store clerk.

Here is the full statement from CATS:

“On March 30, 2021 a violent incident occurred at Plaza Sundries in the Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) causing extensive damage to the business. The suspect involved in the incident, Mr. Xavier Rashee Woody-Silas, was immediately arrested by G4S Company Police and received the following charges:

  1. Damage to Personal Property – For the alleged extensive property damage to the business
  2. Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon - For allegedly using a street-sign post as a weapon to cause severe property damage while taking store product without payment
  3. Communicating Threats – For allegedly making verbal threats to the police officers responding to the incident
  4. Misdemeanor Larceny - For allegedly taking store product (energy drink) during the act of causing severe property damage
  5. Disorderly Conduct - For allegedly screaming and cursing as well as being physically and verbally abusive to police officers
  6. 6. Resist, Delay & Obstruct - For allegedly physically resisting the officers attempting to detain the subject

“In addition, CATS understands that police are pursuing a potential charge of Misdemeanor Ethnic Intimidation (under North Carolina’s hate crimes statute) at least partially based on alleged statements made to the store clerk.

“The suspect has also been banned from all CATS facilities and services.

“CATS has verified that G4S has increased officer presence at the CTC. CATS strongly condemns any act of racism or violence and will continue to prioritize the safety of everyone.”

The arrest is not giving the owners of the store any peace of mind. Their son, Mark Sung, says violent crimes like this one happen at least once a year. Sung also says thefts, drug deals, and confrontations happen even more regularly.

“I’ve been working there on and off since I was 15, and I’m 35 now,” Sung said. “There’s always fights or confrontations there. And we’re constantly calling the police at least three to five time a day sometimes.”

Sung’s parents are nearing retirement. He says his mother has taken the attacks hard.

“She’s just like ‘what’s the point? Why am I being treated like crap everyday’,” Sung explained. “We just want to be left alone in peace.”

Sung did not want to show his face on camera because he is certain his family will be targeted again.

“It’s easy for people to attack us because we’re the minority,” Sung said. “I’ve faced racism growing up here in Charlotte my whole life so it’s nothing new.”

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