Kalie Rutledge, 22, was sentenced to three years of supervised probation with an initial 90 days in jail for assaulting two Chinese Arizona State University students.
According to a press release, she pled guilty to one-count of a class six felony assault and will receive credit for 38 days of pre-sentence incarceration, in addition to paying restitution, participating in mental health, as well as drug and alcohol screenings for the May 20 incident involving a male and female riding the light rail to Tempe after a Phoenix Mercury basketball game.
The couple were reportedly speaking to each other when Ms. Rutledge spewed obscene comments and racial epithets towards them. When they left the Light Rail, Ms. Rutledge ran up to the woman and punched her in the face, breaking her orbital bone and causing her to fall, the release said. The man intervened by stepping between them but Ms. Rutledge swung at his face, knocked off his glasses, and fled the Light Rail station on foot.
The release said nearby witnesses alerted the police who located her walking away from the area. Witnesses and the victims identified her and an officer also confirmed the victims’ and witnesses’ statements by watching Light Rail surveillance video.
“Though this particular defendant attacked the victims because they were Chinese and speaking in a Chinese dialect, I want to assure the Chinese community that there does not appear to be any pattern of harassment or targeting of individuals in Maricopa County because they are of Chinese ethnicity,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
“This office will not tolerate racism or bigotry directed at any victim and appreciates the contributions of Chinese-Americans whether newly immigrated or here for generations, as well as those from China who are here to engage in business or academic studies. Our community is strong because we acknowledge our cultural and ethnic diversity and we are all unified in working to ensure we have a community where we are proud to live, work and raise our families.”
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