Houston police urge Asiatown community to be vigilant amid concerns of increased violence

Finner warned the community that they are a target because of misconceptions.


Sara Willa Ernst
Hong Kong Mall in Chinatown

Houston police said they are still looking for a second suspect involved in a shooting robbery that led to a restaurant worker being hospitalized.

During a Thursday night townhall meeting in Houston’s Asiatown, police said they arrested the first suspect in the robbery of Holam Cheng, who was shot four times, but still need help on finding the second. The meeting was held to address concerns of crime in the community, especially after Cheng was shot. The meeting was attended by Chief Troy Finner, Assistant Chief Ben Tien and other elected officials.

I will say that the witnesses were key in this case and finding the the license plate of the (first) suspect’s vehicle. That was pretty much a key element,” Lt. Andy Granger told the community.So I want to ask the community to see if you have anything if you know any leads or anything. Please provide that to us.”

Throughout the meeting community members discussed concerns with their own experiences. One speaker claimed he and his sister were the victims of a hate crime, but they have yet to get a case number from police on it.

I ended up with concussion, my sister ended up in the hospital with life threatening injuries, she spent a couple of weeks in the hospital. And I’ve reported it to the police and our investigator,” he said. “He refused to contact the perpetrators, three white men. And he refused to interview them.”

Finner said he would make sure that he got a case number and would personally look into the case.

Other speakers said they wanted the department to increase officers patrolling in Asiatown, and address language barriers when reporting crimes.

Finner warned the community that some see them as a target, and to be vigilant.

“There’s a perception with the Asian community of crooks thinking that everybody carries cash, and then, so you are a target,” he said. “So when you go in and coming from banks and stores and conducting your everyday business, be observant, try to go with with at least two people, if somebody’s driving, you know, passenger look around.”

He added that they should know where the area police departments are, and to call if they feel they are being followed or targeted.

“I’m not blaming the victim,” he added.I’m just saying that we all make better decisions and do things that’s gonna keep us all safer. And we’re right here with you.”

The second townhall will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Chinese Civic Center.