In 2017, Thi Pham, a 33-year-old Vietnamese woman, moved to Shoreline, Washington, to live with her husband, William Healy. To hear the couple tell it, virtually from the moment Pham arrived, she was under verbal attack from a racist next-door neighbor, Jan Myers.
According to Healy and Pham, Myers, 72, began unleashing slurs, calling her “Miss Vietnam” and “Miss Saigon” and alleging that she was a mail-order bride.
Myers, meanwhile, said she really only had a problem with Pham and Healy’s cat—which she said kept shitting on her lawn—and that the family was secretly taking pictures and videos of her. At least one video, shared with The Daily Beast, captured Myers walking around naked from the waist down on her front porch in view of Pham’s 2-year-old son.
This April, the years-long saga finally bubbled to the surface after Pham called police alleging Myers threatened her while she was gardening in her front yard, according to a King County Sheriff’s Office police report obtained by The Daily Beast. Despite steadfast denials that she made racist comments or issued threats, Myers was arrested and charged with a felony hate crime.
As part of the charge, she was ordered to stay away from Pham and her family and refrain from harassing her, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. But now the couple have filed a lawsuit alleging she violated that order, and their attorney, Jeffrey Campiche, told The Daily Beast that Myers has continued to “harass” and “stalk” the family since her arrest.
In other words, the family says, the cops getting involved wasn’t enough to stop a racist campaign of fear.
The saga first became a criminal matter on April 5, according to the police report and videos Pham took with her phone, when Myers sat in her car and leered at Pham, moving the car back and forth on the road. At one point, Myers is seen rolling down her window and yelling, “Come on out you slant eye.” She then tells Pham, “I called the cops on you, you little slant eye.” Myers later returns to her own driveway, before eeking back onto the road again. She rolls down the window and yells, “You’re not gonna live very long,” before driving away.
Myers did not respond to a request for comment for this story. When reached for comment, James Johanson, an attorney representing Myers in her criminal case, said she has been following all court orders and has left Pham and her family alone, despite the recent allegations.
“If that were true,” he said of the latest claims, “my client would be arrested and charged with numerous violations of a no-contact order or an anti-harassment order—which hasn’t happened.”
Johanson also pushed back on the suggestion that Myers has any particular animus against Asians or minorities. He said that other neighbors have complained about her conduct in the past, and they were white.
“They also were treated poorly, allegedly, by my client,” he said. “She appears to not favor anybody.
“She probably has some issues with everybody, not just minorities.”
According to the police report from the initial April incident, Myers said she told Pham to move out the way because she didn’t want her to get hurt while she was pulling into her driveway. "She doesn’t even speak English so she probably doesn’t know what I said,” Myers told police, according to the report. She then alleged that Healy had “just bought” Pham “like a month ago."
“He just went over to Vietnam and bought her,” she said, according to the report.
Cops didn’t buy it, booking Myers and charging her with the hate crime.
Nonetheless, the King County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Daily Beast that on May 23, Myers appeared to violate the order barring her from contact with her neighbors. Tim Meyer, spokesman for the King’s County Sheriff’s Office, told The Daily Beast that deputies were called to a local park by Healy, alleging Myers followed him and his son there.
In the lawsuit Healy and Pham filed against Myers this week, they allege Myers “stalked” Healy and his son, drove within 30 feet of them, parked, and watched them—violating her court order to stay away from the family.
Campiche went so far as to blame local authorities, including the King County Sheriff’s Office and the King County Prosecuting Attorney, for taking a laissez-faire attitude toward enforcing the court order in Myers and Pham’s case. “We feel that Ms. Myers is empowered to continue to harass Thi Pham, her child, and her husband,” he said at a Tuesday press conference.
Although the King County Sheriff’s Office did not initially recommend charges for the May 23 incident at the park, the spokesperson, Meyer, told The Daily Beast that the case was reviewed again in June and charges were recommended. He defended the Sheriff’s Office and said that all calls for service by Pham and her family have been responded to.
“If there are credible calls and credible allegations, we’re going to respond to those,” he said.
Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for the King County Prosecuting Attorney, said the May 23 incident was referred to the Shoreline City Attorney’s Office first, because it was a misdemeanor and involved Pham’s family. He said that while an immediate protection order was issued for Pham after Myers’ criminal charge, a second order was requested by Pham’s family, and that order was enforced by Shoreline City.
McNerthney added that because the May 23 incident did not involve Pham, Myers was not in violation of the order his office enforces. (Meyer, the sheriff’s spokesman, disputed that the incident did not fall under the jurisdiction of the King County Prosecuting Attorney.)
“If there’s evidence that leads the Shoreline City Attorney’s office to file a charge for a violation of the separate no-contact order, of course our office would promptly bring that information to the attention of the judge in our felony case,” McNerthney said.
The Shoreline City Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meyer, the sheriff’s spokesman, did not comment on the merits of the May 23 incident, but he said that Myers’ conduct seems “consistent with someone who has behavioral health issues.”
He pushed back on criticism by Pham’s attorney about not taking the case seriously. “I think our deputies are also sort of seeing this thing holistically, while also being mindful of the victim’s perspective,” he said.
Before her arrest on April 5, police on scene reported that at least five neighbors had approached them to tell deputies that “something needed to be done about Myers.”
Nonetheless, Pham, in a teary press conference on Tuesday, told FOX 13 that she feels like she’s trapped.
"I feel like my life is [in] danger every day I go outside,” she said.