CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man has been charged after surveillance video shows him trashing a Korean-owned convenience store Tuesday afternoon in uptown Charlotte.
The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. at Plaza Sundries on Trade Street inside the Charlotte Transportation Center.
The owners of the business are Korean and have been in business for about 20 years. Their son, Mark Sung, told Channel 9 there’s no doubt in his family’s minds that they were targeted because they are Asian.
Video from the store’s surveillance camera shows 24-year-old Xavier Woody Silas walk into the store and immediately pull down a rack of merchandise. He then takes a metal bar and swings it all around the store hitting shelves and drink machines.
(Watch surveillance video of the attack below)
Security officers in the transit center called police who arrested Silas. The owners and customers were inside at the time of the rampage, but were not hurt.
According to Sung, this isn’t the first time his family’s story was vandalized.
“We average about one of these incidents a year,” he said. “This year just came a little early, I guess.”
Sung told Channel 9′s veteran crime reporter Mark Becker that he believes a man his family banned from the store hired Silas to trash the store in an act of revenge.
He said during the attack Silas was screaming racial slurs.
“As he was doing it, he was like saying racial slurs, cursing at us, threatening us. And the guy that we banned ended up coming into the store cheering him on and screaming, ‘That’s what you get! That’s what you get! Go back to your country!’” Sung said.
After taking a day to clean up the mess, Sung said his parents reopened the shop. He told Channel 9 he has given up hope that the hate will go away.
“This whole racism thing isn’t just going to go away,” he said. “It’s been around for centuries.”
Silas was arrested, but has since been released. He is facing several charges including damage to personal property, communicating threats and disorderly conduct. Officials said police are also pursuing a potential charge of Misdemeanor Ethnic Intimidation under North Carolina’s hate crimes statute at least partially based on alleged statements made to the store clerk.
A GoFundMe started to help Sung’s family fix damages to their store has raised over $17,000. You can donate here.
Charlotte Area Transit System sent Channel 9 the following statement:
“On March 30, 2021 a violent incident occurred at Plaza Sundries in the Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) causing extensive damage to the business. The suspect involved in the incident, Mr. Xavier Rashee Woody-Silas, was immediately arrested by G4S Company Police and received the following charges:
- Damage to Personal Property – For the alleged extensive property damage to the business
- Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon - For allegedly using a street-sign post as a weapon to cause severe property damage while taking store product without payment
- Communicating Threats – For allegedly making verbal threats to the police officers responding to the incident
- Misdemeanor Larceny - For allegedly taking store product (energy drink) during the act of causing severe property damage
- Disorderly Conduct - For allegedly screaming and cursing as well as being physically and verbally abusive to police officers
- Resist, Delay & Obstruct - For allegedly physically resisting the officers attempting to detain the subject
In addition, CATS understands that police are pursuing a potential charge of Misdemeanor Ethnic Intimidation (under North Carolina’s hate crimes statute) at least partially based on alleged statements made to the store clerk.
The suspect has also been banned from all CATS facilities and services.
CATS has verified that G4S has increased officer presence at the CTC. CATS strongly condemns any act of racism or violence and will continue to prioritize the safety of everyone.”