Yes, Cops Kept Innocent Man In Cuffs While His Wife Died Inside Atlanta Spa *But He Wasn't White*!
Delaina Ashley Yaun and her husband, Mario González, had hoped to enjoy a relaxing date night at Young's Asian Massage Parlor in suburban Atlanta last Tuesday, but an angry man's massacre ended all that. They were in separate rooms for their massages when the gunfire started. González was afraid the bullets would hit his wife in the next room.
When the Cherokee County police arrived, they reportedly assumed González was a potential suspect, even though he didn't have a gun and wasn't shooting anyone. The police still thought it best to handcuff González while he begged for information about Yaun, who was still inside the massage parlor. He remained in police custody for four hours. The handcuffs left scars on his wrists, but those will eventually fade. Later, after police detained the actual gunman and heard about his alleged “bad day," González was told that his wife had been killed. She died while her husband was just a few feet away.
Mario González escaped the spa when the gunman starred shooting, but rather than sympathy from law enforcement offi… https://t.co/HROMzFZEI9— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts)1616418788.0
Let's take a moment to talk about Delaina Yaun. The media, especially conservative pundits and columnists, have rushed to embrace the gunman's claims that he suffers from a “sex addiction," and this has arguably promoted the narrative that the gunman's victims were sex workers and that the spas targeted were located in Atlanta's red light district.
So far, no evidence has been presented confirming that the gunman's victims were sex workers, and even if a mass shooter was a reliable source of information, it should go without saying that no one deserves to die because of their profession. According to the Washington Post, customers posted online about the supposed "illicit offerings at Gold Spa, Aromatherapy Spa and Young's Asian Massage," which resulted in men showing up expecting the snatch, clean, and jerk.
The gunman claimed he was a regular at two of the three massage parlors he attacked.
He said he saw the people who worked in them as "temptations" he needed to "eliminate," signaling that he set out with the intention of attacking Asian women whom he perceived to be selling sex.
Disaffected young men who only watch Cinemax might assume that every massage parlor has a back room where women, usually of Asian descent, perform sexual favors for money. These stereotypes and stigmas are pervasive. A friend once shared with me how tiresome it was when men would tell her, "Me so horny!" as if that was effective flirtation and not just deeply, deeply offensive. It's depressing but not surprising that conservatives won't recognize the deep-seated racial bias that caused the gunman to target mostly women of Asian descent.
Delaina Yaun was among four people the gunman killed at Young's Asian Massage before moving on to two other spas, where he killed four others. Yaun wasn't an employee at the massager parlor, which is something you'd think a “regular" might've known. She worked at a local Waffle House, where she met González. They have an eight-month-old baby, Mia. Yaun was white, which doesn't magically remove racism as a motive.
González, who's Mexican, said the authorities knew he was Yaun's husband. They also possibly knew that he didn't fit the actual shooter's physical description. He still sat handcuffed on the sidewalk and then in a patrol car while his wife died.
From the Daily Mail:
Alex Acosta, who worked next door at Gabby's Boutique, recognized Mario on the sidewalk and approached him, telling DailyMail.com, "Mario looked at me and he told me his wife was still inside. He told me to tell the police."
When Acosta's wife told a cop about Delaina, the officer replied, “I know."
Yaun's mother, Margaret Rushing, said she just wanted to enjoy some time together with her husband, just the two of them. This was time that was cruelly denied the couple.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).