According to the Boston Globe, a Quincy man is in custody after an alleged racially-motivated vehicle ramming attack that severely injured an Asian man.

“At his arraignment Friday afternoon, a Quincy District Court judge ordered John Sullivan, 77, of Quincy, to be held pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Wednesday,” reported Nick Stoico. “The victim, 38-year-old George Ngo, suffered multiple injuries and a concussion and is recovering at home, according to his sister, Desiree Thien.”

“Thien and her three children were leaving the post office on Washington Street with Ngo shortly before 11 a.m. when Sullivan allegedly began shouting racial slurs at the family, she said in a phone interview Sunday afternoon,” said the report. “Authorities say Sullivan was driving in the area of the post office and exchanged words with pedestrians who said he was driving too fast. Thien said she and her brother did not say anything to Sullivan as he parked his car near the post office, but as he got out of the vehicle, Sullivan allegedly began shouting slurs at them. Thien said Sullivan told the family to ‘Go back to China,’ and she told him she was calling the police.”

“The family stood in front of Sullivan’s car and took photos of it after he went inside the post office. The confrontation escalated when he returned a few minutes later and continued shouting slurs at the family as he got back into his car, Thien said. Sullivan then started the car and accelerated toward her and her brother, she said. Ngo pushed Thien out of the way, she said,” the report continued. “Thien said Sullivan abruptly hit the brakes, throwing Ngo from the hood and onto the ground near the intersection with Foster Street. Once Ngo returned to his feet, Sullivan ‘hit my brother one more time, which sent him flying into the construction ditch,’ Thien said.”

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Sullivan has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including civil rights violations, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, reckless driving, and fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle collision. “I don’t know any reason why someone would do this,” Thien told the Globe. “I just know they must be very miserable and filled with anger and hatred in order to do that to someone they don’t know.”

Anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked in recent years, driven in part by people who wrongly believe that Asian people are responsible for infecting the United States with the COVID-19 virus. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed a landmark bill that devotes more resources to preventing and prosecuting hate crimes.

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