Police have confirmed that they have identified the woman who was filmed in multiple separate incidents making racist, anti-Asian comments and exhibiting threatening behavior as 56-year-old Lena Hernandez, of Long Beach.
Hernandez had become viral on social media earlier this week after she was caught on video verbally harassing a woman exercising on the stairs in Wilson Park and telling her to “go back to whatever f****** Asian country you came from.”
She also threatened to have her family cause harm to the victim and has since come to be referred to as the ‘Torrance Karen’ — a term primarily used to describe white, middle-aged women who make racist comments and display entitled behavior.
The footage was posted on Twitter by a friend of the victim with the caption, “My friend was threatened in Wilson Park in Torrance, California today while she was working out in a public park by a Karen. She now does not feel safe to exercise in the park because of this.”
Watch the first incident here:
Some social media users then pointed out that Hernandez was the same woman who had harassed another man on the same day, June 10, seemingly just after she exited the park.
That particular incident was caught on camera as well and shows her berating a 42-year-old father and using racial slurs against him for not parking his car correctly even as his young son stood nearby. She asks, “You know how many people don’t even want you here?” before telling him that he would be “f***** to death”.
When he gets out of the car to show how she was the one at fault for not parking properly and to get her license plate on camera, Hernandez calls him “Chinaman” and starts speaking in gibberish. He doesn’t take the bait when she tells him he was going to go to “real jail” and calmly tells her to show “respect” and “get educated”.
The Torrance Police confirmed in a press release that they had been made aware of the incidents and that the first victim had contacted their department to file a Criminal Threats report.
Police also revealed that they suspected Hernandez was involved in a third incident that occurred on October 14, 2019, at the Del Amo Mall, at 3525 Carson Street. During that incident, the female suspect was yelling and cursing at a female custodian while in the restroom. When the victim attempted to intervene, the suspect punched the victim and left the location before security and police arrived.
Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey said such behavior would not be tolerated and that Hernandez was under investigation. “Public safety is a high priority in the City of Torrance. And, all visitors to our open spaces should always feel safe and free to exercise while practicing social distancing without conflict. Conduct like that displayed on the video cannot be tolerated,” he told NBC Los Angeles.
Speaking at a press conference, Torrance Police Chief Eve Berg said that police have been to multiple locations in a bid to find the 56-year-old and are looking into the possibility that mental illness played a role in the incidents.
Sgt. Martinez with the Torrance Police Department told Insider that the case had been submitted to the city prosecutor’s office, which will determine if Hernandez will face any charges.