A woman who went on a pair of racist rants aimed at Asian Americans at a Torrance park — both of which were captured on video and quickly went viral online — was contacted by authorities, but not arrested.
Lena Hernandez was found by Torrance Police Department detectives and members of the Specialized Crisis Intervention Team in a park in San Pedro on Wednesday, according to Sgt. Alexander Martinez.
Investigators talked with the 56-year-old Long Beach resident about both rants and a third incident that occurred in October 2019 at the Del Amo Mall in which Hernandez was accused of pushing and striking a woman, Martinez said.
“Based on the fact all three incidents are misdemeanor crimes and did not occur in the presence of an officer, Hernandez was not arrested at the time of the interview,” Martinez said.
The details of the interview would be submitted to the Torrance City Prosecutor’s Office, he said.
In the first case, Hernandez was caught on video verbally accosting a young woman exercising at the park.
“Go back to whatever (expletive) Asian country you belong in,” the woman yelled. “… This is not your place. This is not your home. We do not want you here.”
An Asian man posted a video online last Thursday showing him and his son being accosted and mocked by the same woman on the same day.
“You need to go home,” the woman tells the man.
Both incidents occurred June 10 at Wilson Park on Crenshaw Boulevard.
On Friday morning, hundreds of people gathered at the park for a group workout and community demonstration in opposition to the woman’s comments.
Torrance Mayor Patrick Furey on Friday also condemned what he saw on the videos.
“The city of Torrance does not in any way condone the language or activities that were done in our public space, Wilson Park, by this suspect,” Furey said. “In fact, it’s nauseating to absolutely anybody in our community. We are a diverse community — more than 80 languages spoken in the city of Torrance, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of our population are Asian or Asian-Pacific Islander.
“More than 200 Japanese businesses have their corporate headquarters in our city. … We truly are a diverse population and businesses community. That’s what incensed us about this.”