Michael Orlando Vivona, 25, of Corona, Riverside County, California, United States has been arrested by the Orange Police Department. He was charged with elder abuse and a hate crime.
On April 1, 2021, karateka Sakura Kokumai, 28, was working out at Grijalva Park in Orange, California when Vivona yelled at her and threatened to hurt her. He told her, “You’re a loser.”
“Go home, you, stupid bitch,” Vivona continued. “I’ll f*** you up.”
Kokumai heard Vivona say the words Chinese and sashimi. She is of Japanese descent and was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Representing the U.S., Kokumai won the gold medal in the women’s individual kata event at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. She will represent the U.S. again at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Just before 7:40 p.m. on April 18, 2021, Vivona was at Grijalva Park again. Unprovoked, he came up to a Korean-American man, 79, and his Korean-American wife, 80, while the couple was walking at the park.
Vivona punched the two elderly Korean-Americans in the face. The victims were knocked down and were later treated at the park by paramedics.
Orange Police Department public information officer Sergeant Phil McMullin told the Los Angeles Times that Vivona “didn’t make any statements when he attacked the elderly couple.” However, when the authorities interviewed the attacker, his statements informed them that “it was a racially motivated attack,” McMullin said.
The victims, whose names were not released, were treated at the park by paramedics. After the attack, Vivona was not able to leave the park as community members surrounded him and called police, the Orange County Register quoted McMullin as saying.
“People at the park surrounded him and held him until officers got there,” McMullin said of Vivona. “People knew about the incident from before.”
Held at Theo Lacy Jail in Orange, Vivona is expected to appear in court on April 20, 2021. His bail was set at $65,000.