String of Asian-owned businesses in Maryland attacked


Helen Ehrlich, Editor-In-Chief

Four businesses owned by Asian residents of Howard County Maryland were attacked on the night of February 12, 2021. A Bonchon, Hot Pot, Kung Fu Tea and local bakery were all broken into. Some had cash stolen.


Six stores were burglarized that night, two of which were not owned by Asian residents. The Howard County Police Department is not investigating these as hate-based incidents, but has noted the connection and not eliminated doing so. Crime in Howard County has decreased in recent years, but police have noted an uptick in burglaries in recent months. Police reportedly suspect that these break-ins are part of that pattern


The fact that the stories were all attacked on the same night, attacked during Lunar New Year and all Asian-owned businesses has left community members concerned about racist intentions. Community members felt particularly harmed by the break-ins occurring during Lunar New Year, which is supposed to be a celebratory time for the Asian community.


Columbia was ranked as one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. and Howard County is 19.3% Asian, but a recent surge in violence against members of the Asian community has further exacerbated the growing concerns in Howard.


Mike Wong, whose wife works at the bubble tea shop, told WTOP, “Not only is this an act of violence within our community, but is also an attack against Asian Americans.”