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Asian community rallies after attack on Filipino-American resident

Updated June 30, 2023 - 7:13 pm

A crowd gathered on the sunny steps of the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas Thursday morning, holding signs bearing one message: Stop Asian hate.

Dozens of people from multiple organizations, communities and backgrounds rallied against Asian hate in response to the recent attack on local Filipino-American Amadeo Quindara.

Quindara was attacked in his garage on May 30, when he said his neighbor punched him multiple times and slammed him on the ground, cutting his head open. Quindara suffered bruises, a gash to the head and a brain hematoma from the attack.

The neighbor, 44-year-old Christian Lentz, was charged with residential burglary, according to court records. The Clark County district attorney’s office announced on June 16 that Lentz is facing charges of elder abuse and residential burglary perpetrated as hate crimes.

News of Quindara’s attack ultimately spread throughout the community, and multiple people and organizations from the came out to support the family.

‘We shouldn’t have let this happen’

Gloria Caoile, the founding vice chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, led Thursday’s rally, introducing speakers and leading chants via microphone.

Caoile said Quindara’s attack galvanized many in the local AAPI community to stand up against anti-Asian hate. She said multiple people viewed the attack as something that could have happened to a member of their family or someone they care about.

The rally was meant to be a call to action to lawmakers and law enforcement to take action to stop anti-Asian hate, and hate crimes overall, she said.

“It was a cry for support and a cry for others to recognize the fact that we shouldn’t have let this happen,” Caoile said. “Mr. Quindara was in his home, where we all feel the safest, but he was there and was brutally attacked in his own home. It’s just the idea that this may happen again, those emotions are now rippling out in our community.”

Minddie Lloyd, co-founder and president of Bamboo Bridges, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for and helping the AAPI community, called to strengthen civil rights protections for the AAPI community.

Assemblyman Duy Nguyen, D-Las Vegas, said after attending the rally that he plans to meet with stakeholders from the community to begin work on drafting a piece of legislation to directly address hate crime.

‘Becoming too familiar’

Grace Vergara-Mactal, executive director of the Service Employees International Union Local 1107, said many within her union were victims of hate, especially during the pandemic. The local 1107 union represents healthcare and public service workers in Nevada, and Vergara-Mactal said healthcare workers especially experienced a rise in hate during that time.

According to national crime data from the FBI, the bureau recorded that anti-Asian hate crimes jumped by 77 percent from 2019 to 2021, from 216 reported incidents in 2019 to 341 in 2020. The number of reported anti-Asian hate crimes grew again to 383 in 2021, the most recent year with published hate crime data.

“What happened here, it’s growing across America. Asian hate is happening in cities all over,” Henry Quindara, Amadeo Quindara’s son, said in a speech at the rally. “We are being attacked because we are Asian. You saw my dad and thought ‘That can be my dad, or my Tito, or my Lolo.’ My dad’s story is becoming too familiar, and it must stop.”

Vergara-Mactal said the fight against anti-Asian hate is not just specific to the AAPI community, but an issue for everyone.

“We cannot accept being targeted or victimized. We cannot stand on the sideline while these hate crimes are being committed,” she said. “This is not an AAPI issue. It’s an all of us issue.”

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Instagram @writermark2.

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