A 42-year-old Irvine man who had been booked on suspicion of a hate crime against a woman of Korean descent in Tustin was released from custody Wednesday as Orange County prosecutors asked police to continue investigating the incident.

Jauhar Tajuddin Shuaib was accused of making racially derogatory comments while punching the victim in the stomach at about 10:40 a.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of Valencia Avenue, according to Lt. Stephanie Nichols of the Tustin Police Department.

The victim pepper sprayed the suspect, prompting him to flee before police arrived, Nichols said.

Police later tracked down the suspect and took him into custody.

Shuaib was booked on suspicion of a hate crime assault, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, sexually motivated annoyance, assault in a public park, loitering about where children congregate, and disturbing the peace.

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