Attack on 3 Japanese-American Women Probed


The Orange County Human Relations Commission is investigating allegations that three Japanese-American women were harassed and assaulted at a Red Onion restaurant here.

The three women were at the restaurant at 16450 Pacific Coast Highway when they were “assaulted verbally by some Anglo women and men who were coming after them because they were speaking Japanese,” said Rusty Kennedy, the commission’s director.

The attackers “yelled at (the women) for that, pushed them, shoved them and hit them,” Kennedy said Tuesday.

“These people were definitely treated poorly,” Kennedy added. “They felt the staff (of the restaurant) didn’t help them out during this or after this.” He said the incident occurred several weeks ago.


The county Human Relations Commission is working with the Japanese-American Citizens League in Los Angeles to file a civil action against the restaurant.

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors this week joined in the investigation.

In 1989, the Red Onion restaurant chain, hit repeatedly by charges of discrimination, agreed to pay $450,00 to settle the claims of two former college football players who were thrown out of a Santa Ana restaurant because they are black.

It was the last lawsuit of several filed in 1986 when it was disclosed that some restaurant managers had instructed employees to discourage minorities from entering.


Based in Carson, the Red Onion chain has paid several hundred thousand dollars to minorities who brought claims through the state and Orange County courts, including $390,000 to a group of blacks and Latinos in 1988 and $240,000 to a group of Iranians in 1986.