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Woman Allegedly Targeted Asians During San Jose Walmart Attack On 4-Year-Old

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Police arrested Maria Garate, an 18-year-old transient from the San Jose area, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. (Source: SJPD)

Police arrested Maria Garate, an 18-year-old transient from the San Jose area, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. (Source: SJPD)

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – The young woman accused of attacking a toddler with a wrench at a San Jose Walmart Tuesday has been charged with a hate crime, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Thursday.

The DA’s office says Maria Garate went into the Walmart store on Story Rd. with the intent of attacking an Asian family. She then allegedly walked up to a 4-year-old Asian girl who was shopping with her father near the purse section and attacked with a lug nut wrench. She hit the child before her father was able to step in and take the brunt of the lashings from the weapon, previously described as a crowbar.

Walmart security then showed up was then able to hold the woman down until police arrived.

The girl was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life threatening.

Garate, who is 20 but was originally identified as an 18-year-old, is now facing attempted murder charges with a hate crime enhancement in connection with the attack; if convicted of those and other related charges she could face a maximum of life plus three years in prison.

No bail was set at the brief arraignment Thursday, and Grate is due back in court on May 23rd.

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