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Korean-Owned Store Attacked, Vandalized At Charlotte Transit Center

A man has been arrested and charged with attacking a Korean-owned convenience store in uptown Charlotte on Tuesday, allegedly smashing the store's coolers with a metal post and hurling racial slurs at the store's owners.

The attack took place on Tuesday, March 30, at the Plaza Sundries convenience store at the Charlotte Transit Center in uptown. Surveillance video posted on YouTube shows a person entering the store and toppling a rack of merchandise, then violently striking the store's soda coolers with a metal street sign pole as customers scramble to leave.

In an interview with The Charlotte Observer, the owners' son Mark Sung said the attacker also made verbal threats, and was later joined by a man, apparently a friend, who cheered him on. As police arrived, the attacker helped himself to a Monster energy drink, Sung said.

After police arrived and arrested the alleged attacker, Sung told the Observer that his parents closed the store to clean up, but the attacker's friend returned and continued to harass his parents. Later when his mother left to go the restroom, the man followed her, making sexual comments and poses.

In a statement, the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) confirmed that a 24-year-old man was arrested at the Plaza Sundries store Tuesday in connection with a violent attack.

The transit system identified the man as Xavier Rachee Woody-Silas. He was charged with damage to real property, robbery with a dangerous weapon, communicating threats, misdemeanor larceny, disorderly conduct, and resisting, delaying, and obstructing officers.

Police were also 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, CATS said. In addition, Woody-Silas has been banned from all CATS facilities and services.

The transit system says the security system it contracts with, G4S, has since increased it presence at the transit center.

A GoFundMe campaign was created following the attack by a self-identified niece of the owner. Donations to the fundraiser were quickly climbing Saturday morning, topping $31,000 from more than 600 donors by 12 p.m.

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