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Man arrested after racial incident in Stevens Point

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) -- Police arrested a 57-year-old white man in Stevens Point after he allegedly harassed a group of Hmong people, calling them racial slurs.

On May 12, at the Save A Lot grocery store on Church Street, the man was "highly intoxicated" when Hmong individuals entered the store, according to the police report.

"They were wearing masks because of COVID, to protect themselves," said Lt. Dana Williams.

The police report states the man made "loud, derogatory racial comments against asians."

Lt. Williams said the man was, "basically blaming them for why we are in the pandemic."

Later, 57-year-old Robert Shrote admitted to officers that the incident at Save A Lot was his fault, according to the report.

Police arrested Shrote and recommended the charge of disorderly conduct with a hate crime "enhancer."

This incident comes after several other issues of racism towards Asian-Americans across the state: Eau Claire, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Wausau.

In Stevens Point, Mayor Mike Wiza said these actions will not be tolerated. "I give you my word that when we see or hear about these issues of hatred, bigotry and racism - that we will deal with them swiftly and justly," said Wiza.

Freedom, Inc. is hosting a Webinar Wednesday to address the issue of race-based hate towards Asian-Americans.

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Tom Lally

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