Asian man, 80, beaten and robbed by teens near San Francisco

·2 min read
An 80-year-old Asian man was attacked and had his Fitbit stolen as teens attacked him in San Leandro, near San Francisco.  (Home security video/NBC Bay Area)
An 80-year-old Asian man was attacked and had his Fitbit stolen as teens attacked him in San Leandro, near San Francisco. (Home security video/NBC Bay Area)

An 80-year-old Asian man was beaten to the ground and robbed by teenagers in San Leandro, a town near San Francisco in northern California.

Video shows the man calling for help as the teens assault him. In the footage from Saturday, one of the teens can be heard laughing. The suspects are between 16 and 19 years old, according to law enforcement.

San Leandro Police say that attacks perpetrated against Asian Americans rose by 283 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

A man who wants to be known only as “Marcos” captured the footage on his home security camera. He told ABC 7: “It's crazy to see kids that age doing that kind of stuff going down that road already.”

The town of San Leandro has seen a number of attacks on Asian Americans since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2020, a woman was caught on camera delivering letters directly to residents demanding that Asian people leave the country. In February of this year, an Asian man was attacked and robbed outside a bank.

Lt Ali Khan of the San Leandro Police Department told ABC 7 they were “shocked” when they got the results of a study looking at the demographics of crime victims.

“From 2019 to 2020 we saw an almost 300 per cent increase in crimes towards our Asian and Pacific Islander community members,” he said.

Lt Khan said he wasn’t certain how many of those violations were hate crimes but “numbers don’t lie”. He added that the department has raised the number of patrols and that they are collaborating with the District Attorney on how to deal with minors who are released but quickly commit another crime.

He said they are looking at measures “other than putting juveniles in jail”.

Marcos wants to see “more consequences. Because it seems to be ongoing ... it's really the best thing that can happen so they can learn,” he told ABC 7.

Law enforcement said “detectives are pursuing all avenues of investigative leads”, but that there’s no indication that the 80-year-old Asian man who was attacked on Saturday was targeted because of his race.

He sustained minor injuries and was stripped of a watch and indicated to police that he thinks the crime was motivated by anti-Asian prejudice. Police say the juveniles took the man’s Fitbit after demanding that he give them his wallet.

A neighbour told NBC Bay Area: “He thought he was targeted for being Asian.”

Police say the suspects left because the man was calling out for help. They also said that a similar vehicle to that of the teens, a dark sedan, was seen as a woman was robbed of her purse in San Leandro within two hours of the attack on the Asian man.

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