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Harassed Asian American Family Now Guarded by Neighbors

As Haijun Si and his family celebrated the Lunar New Year, the festivities were abruptly cut short when several teenagers shouted racial slurs, hurled rocks at the house, and repeatedly pounded on the front door of their home in Orange County, California.

Since they moved to the neighborhood five months earlier, the family has been targeted by a group of teenagers. “They yell, punch the door and windows, and ring the bell day and night.” He has called the Sheriff’s Department several times, and police have opened an investigation, but the harassment has persisted.

Mr. Si said, “I installed a camera and a fence, but they kept coming back. They are scaring my kids at night. They are afraid to go in their room by themselves, so we have to move them to our room for almost five months now.”

Si decided to reach out to a neighbor for support. He called Layla Parks, who lives down the street and has always been kind to his family. Parks said, “I was outraged, and I wanted to take action right away. But I knew I needed to do it carefully.”

Parks promptly came up with a plan to help protect the Si family. In a neighborhood Facebook group, she posted video footage of a recent attack, which Si provided, and asked if anyone would be willing to stand guard outside the family’s home at night. Her primary mission: “For this family to have some peace again.”

The sign-up spreadsheet immediately flooded with names. Neighbors were horrified by the teenagers’ actions, and people were eager to help. Parks said, “It was more support than I had ever imagined or anticipated, and it is incredibly heartwarming. The community has really stepped up.” The first evening watch was on Feb. 13, and since then, neighbors have stood guard outside Si’s home every night. So far, about 50 people have volunteered for at least one shift.

Mr. Si said, “The neighbors keep watching, and I am very grateful. Now we have some peace. I love my neighbors. I love my community, and I love my country.”

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