An Asian-American woman was stabbed to death while walking her dogs in California in what cops are calling a "random attack." Ke Chieh Meng, 64, suffered multiple stab wounds to her abdomen and was left bleeding on the ground. The incident unfolded at around 7:30 am local time on Saturday in Riverside's La Sierra neighborhood, KTLAreported.
Officers responding to the scene found Meng on the ground and transported her to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the station. Meng's suspected attacker, Darlene Stephanie Montoya, 23, was identified by police as a transient and has been arrested.
Another Asian Attacked
According to police, Meng was walking her two small dogs along Golden Avenue on Saturday morning when she was randomly confronted, attacked and stabbed by a woman, who then fled the scene. Shortly after the attack, police started getting calls from neighbors in the area reporting "a transient woman walking through their yards and appearing suspicious," Riverside police said.
Officers responding to the calls safely detained the woman, identified as Darlene Stephanie Montoya of Monterey Park in Los Angeles County, police said.
Montoya was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on suspicion of murder, a weapons violation, and being under the influence of an illegal substance. She is being held without bail. However, police believe that it was just a random attack. "There was nothing to suggest that the victim was attacked due to her ethnicity," Riverside Police Department spokesman Ryan Railsback told The New York Post. According to police, Montoya was previously arrested by Riverside police on March 30 after she attacked a woman with a skateboard near a shopping strip mall at the 91 Freeway overpass.
Montoya has been described as a "transient" with a history of drug use and brushes with law enforcement. "We're going to try to research [the suspect's] drug-abuse history and her mental-health history," Railsback said, adding that cops are nonetheless "not closing the door on anything."
Meng's death comes amid a rise in incidents of random attacks against Asian Americans in the United States. Many believe that the hate crimes have been fueled by the fact that the coronavirus originated in China, prompting perpetrators to target random Asian-Americans as scapegoats.
Hundreds of people in New York City took to the streets on Sunday to protest against an alarming rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the city and around the country. The 'Stop Asian Hate' began at Foley Square in Manhattan before participants marched through City Hall Park and over the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza.