LAS VEGAS — Prominent leaders of the local Filipino American community are calling for justice and proactive safety measures for an elderly man who was attacked last month amid the continued rise in Asian hate crimes.
The elderly Filipino American man, 75-year-old Amadeo Quindara, was attacked last May 30 at his Las Vegas home and continues to live in fear for his life and safety as his attacker was recently released from jail and reportedly remains a threat to him. The perpetrator, 44-year-old Christian Lentz, was charged with residential burglary.
On the day of the attack, Quinadara was talking to another neighbor in Tagalog when Lentz, who lives just two doors down, reportedly confronted them and told them to speak in English.
Lentz left, but home security footage captured him returning approximately a half hour later.
According to the report, Lentz allegedly punched and slammed Quindara to the ground before fleeing the scene. The video captured Lentz reportedly yelling racial slurs at Quindara, telling the Filipino man that he would “be on a ventilator” and “die.”
“He walked away and started talking. ‘You should speak English. You should speak English. You Japanese,’” Quindara said, according to an interview with KTNV.
Quindara sustained bruises to his face, a black eye and deep cuts on his head.
“Physically, you could recover from that but if you keep thinking about what happened, that is the thing that hurt me most,” Quindara added.
The attack comes at a time when there is an alarming surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans nationally, and as Nevada’s Filipino American population is growing rapidly. There was a disturbing 167% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes during the first year of the pandemic alone, according to the FBI.
Fil-Am leaders in Las Vegas are now calling on authorities and other government officials to bring justice to Quindara’s case as well as to prevent other incidents against the community.
“When Filipino Americans heard about this brutal attack, we took it very personally, because the first thought we had was ‘That could have been my dad’,” said Jacque de Joya, President of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) – Nevada. “In the Filipino American community, we’re very family-oriented, and we revere our elders. So we felt like our own father had been attacked – it hit us right in our hearts.”
De Joya continued to call for justice for Quindara as he is “in imminent danger of being attacked again.”
“We also need officials to prioritize the safety of all Nevadans against hate crimes. All of us must come together across racial lines to increase understanding, education and compassion, and take real steps to end these terrible acts of violence. We are calling for action from our justice system and local government officials, as justice delayed is justice denied. NaFFAA Nevada is in solidarity with the rest of the Filipino American organizations and other organizations in our state,” she said.
Gloria Caoile, co-founder of NaFFAA, said that, Filipino Americans “are essential to the life of our city and state, but right now the Filipino American community is being treated as if we don’t count and don’t matter. I was a union leader for decades, and in the labor movement we have a saying, ‘An injury to one is an injury to all.’ This issue is about making sure that every Nevadan has safety and respect, starting with Mr. Quindara.”
Grace Vergara-Mactal, executive director of Nevada’s largest health care and public service union, SEIU Local 1107,” said, “What politicians need to realize is that their rhetoric has real-world consequences and causes real pain — both physical and emotional.
“We will not accept being targeted or victimized, and as an anti-racist organization, we will not stand on the sidelines. Along with our community partners, we will redouble our fight for justice and safety for all,” Vergara-Mactal added.
According to reports, Quindara is in the process of filing a restraining order against Lentz, who is scheduled to be back in court on July 3. n