A Vancouver woman charged for hurling coffee and racial slurs at an Asian Canadian coffee shop manager last year entered trial on Thursday.

Astrid Maria Secreve, a co-defendant in the mischief case with her ex-husband Michel Jean-Jacque Berthiaume, made headlines this April after being filmed using an anti-Asian slur on her way to a court in Richmond.

At the time, Secreve allegedly lashed out at a CTV News crew that included a camera operator of Asian descent. The video of the encounter shows her using an anti-Chinese slur, flashing her clothed backside and swearing before entering the courthouse.

Secreve and Berthiaume are both charged with mischief under 5,000 Canadian dollars (approximately $3,963) for the attack at Rocanini Coffee Roasters in the Steveston neighborhood, which occurred on March 29, 2021.

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The incident began after the pair allegedly ignored the shop’s COVID-19 guidelines. The manager, identified only as Nikki, asked them to change seats.

However, the duo allegedly refused and retaliated against Nikki. Berthiaume poured his mocha on the floor, while Secreve threw a cup of coffee at the manager, according to reports.

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“I was shocked, standing over here, when the lady passed by me [and] she poured the leftover [coffee on] my face and said something like, ‘F*ck you, Chinese,’ those kinds of things,” Nikki said after the attack.

While fleeing the scene, Berthiaume was also allegedly heard saying “f*cking Chinese” twice and claiming that Nikki was carrying COVID-19.

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Secreve and Berthiaume returned to court on Thursday after the trial was adjourned in April. They have been representing themselves in the case.

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Meanwhile, over a dozen protesters reportedly gathered outside the courthouse. They carried signs that said “End Racism,” “Hate is a Virus” and “Racism is a Virus.”

Ally Wang, a spokesperson of the Stop Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Advocacy Group, also accused Secreve of giving her “the finger” back in April. When she told police, Secreve allegedly put her hand down at once.

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“An Asian reporter from another media outlet told me that Secreve gave her the finger. I couldn’t believe it happened in [the courthouse]. I said, ‘How is that possible?'” Wang told the Richmond News. “But when I went inside after 10 minutes or so, she gave me the finger as well.”

 

Featured Image via Richmond News (left) and CTV News (right)



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