A Pasadena man was arrested on suspicion of a racially-motivated hate crime Sunday night.
Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said the suspect threw a Monster Energy drink at several Asian-American victims as they walked near the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue at about 8:30 p.m.
One of the victims began to ask the suspect why he had thrown the drink at them when the suspect threw a second drink. Neither container struck any of the victims but the liquid was sprayed on them.
When one of the victims approached the suspect, the suspect began to yell racial slurs at the victims.
Fearing the situation was escalating, the victim called police.
The suspect, identified as 36-year-old Maurice Cornelius Spears, was arrested by police on suspicion of battery and a hate crime.
Hettema said the arrest was the first hate crime he knows of which has occurred during the pandemic, although there have been a number of other incidents without specific allegations rising to the level that could lead to an arrest.