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California man charged with hate crimes for targeting South Asian women in necklace robbery spree

  • Lathan Johnson, 37, is facing robbery and hate crime charges after allegedly targeting South Asian women in a two-month robbery spree in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Beginning in June, Johnson snatched approximately $35,000 worth of necklaces off of at least 14 women in San Jose, Milpitas, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, according to prosecutors.
  • In one incident, Johnson allegedly shoved the victim to the ground and punched her husband before grabbing a $1,000 necklace off her neck.
  • Almost all of the victims were wearing a sari, bindi or other types of ethnic attire when they were attacked.
  • Johnson, of East Palo Alto, is scheduled to be arraigned today on hate crime charges.

A man has been charged with hate crimes after targeting South Asian women in a two-month robbery spree in the San Francisco Bay Area, prosecutors said on Monday.

Lathan Johnson, 37, of East Palo Alto, is accused of snatching necklaces from at least 14 women — aged 50 to 73 — and injuring some of them in the process.

Crime-watch app Citizen offers free 1-year premium access to Bay Area’s AAPI community

  • New York-based app developer sp0n, Inc. is giving 20,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander residents from the Bay Area free premium access to its crime-watch app Citizen for one year as part of its new initiative to combat anti-Asian hate.
  • sp0n, Inc. has partnered up with San Francisco’s Chinese American Association of Commerce (CAAC) for the initiative, which is funded by the Goldwater Collective.
  • “Hate crimes against Asian business owners continue to plague our city and we need to use every tool at our disposal to protect each other,” CAAC said in a statement.
  • Citizen Premium “provides subscribers 24/7 unlimited access to Citizen’s team of highly trained agents through video or text whenever subscribers might feel unsafe or uncertain about their surroundings,” sp0n, Inc. said in a recent press release.

A New York-based app developer is giving 20,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander residents in the Bay Area free premium access to its crime-watch app to combat anti-Asian hate in the region.

Citizen, an app developed by sp0n, Inc., will give these Bay Area residents one year of free premium access, the company announced on Monday.

‘Asian American frontline worker is NOT afraid’: SF Walgreens employee follows thief while calling him out

  • An Asian employee at a San Francisco Walgreens has raised both praise and concern for following a man as he allegedly stole items off their shelves.
  • Cellphone video shows the worker, identified only as Mary, trailing and calling out the alleged thief who stuffed products into his pants.
  • It’s unclear whether police arrived in time to arrest the man.

An Asian employee has raised both praise and concern for trailing a man while he allegedly stole from a Walgreens in San Francisco.

The incident, which was caught on cellphone video, reportedly occurred at the Walgreens on Geary and Taylor and went viral on Sunday night.

Transgender activist attacked in San Francisco robbery attempt says she was targeted for being Hindu

  • Anjali Rimi, president and chief executive officer of Parivar Bay Area, a San Francisco-based nonprofit supporting queer and trans South Asians, fell victim to an attempted robbery on Saturday night.
  • Rimi was crossing a street with a friend — another trans South Asian woman — when a motorcycle “suddenly revved up” and “came at us,” she told SFGate.
  • The 43-year-old sustained a hand injury in the incident, which she believes was a targeted crime because she is Hindu and was wearing a sari at the time.
  • San Francisco police, however, said they found “no indication that this was a prejudice-based incident.”

A trans Indian woman believes she was targeted for wearing a sari in an alleged attempted robbery in downtown San Francisco on Saturday night.

Anjali Rimi, president and chief executive officer of Parivar Bay Area — a local nonprofit supporting queer and trans South Asians — sustained a hand injury in the incident which involved a speeding motorcycle.

SF restaurant owner frustrated after city fines him because of constant graffiti on his business

A business owner expressed his frustration over the repeated graffiti vandalism of his San Francisco restaurant after receiving a violation notice from the city to clean up or be fined. 

Viet Nguyen, owner of the soon-to-open Gao Viet Kitchen in the Inner Sunset, told NBC Bay Area that he is tired of his restaurant being targeted by vandals and repeatedly having to paint over the graffiti. 

Asians more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than other Bay Area racial groups, study finds

Asian covid
  • A study published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities on Tuesday found that Bay Area residents of Asian descent were more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than any other racial or ethnic group in 2020.
  • While the study also included Black, Hispanic and white residents, Asians were the only racial group whose age, income, health insurance status and medical comorbidities did not fully account for their higher risk of hospitalization.
  • “What is interesting is that even when we count for all socioeconomic factors and health profile, just being Asian alone still conferred excess risk for having severe COVID,” the study’s co-author, University of California, San Francisco, ophthalmologist Dr. David Hwang, was quoted as saying. “We don’t fully understand the reasons for that.”
  • Hwang cited other potential reasons, such as the rise of anti-Asian violence, which may have prevented many from seeking medical care during the early stages.
  • Another possibility he mentioned was language barriers, as many Asians in the Bay Area may have found it difficult to find a healthcare provider that spoke their own language or dialect.

A recent study has found that Bay Area residents of Asian descent were more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than any other racial or ethnic group in the area in 2020.

The research, co-authored by a University of California, San Francisco, researcher and published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities on Tuesday, noted that the heightened risk among Asians cannot be fully explained by socioeconomic factors or pre-existing medical conditions. 

Family of missing Bay Area woman Alexis Gabe given handwritten notes on possible location of her body

  • The parents of Alexis Gabe, the Filipino American woman who was reported missing in late January in California, received handwritten notes by Gabe’s deceased ex-boyfriend Marshall Curtis Jones from the police on Thursday.
  • The police believe that Jones had written directions to where he disposed of Gabe’s body in the Sierra foothills in Amador County.
  • The Amador County Search and Rescue along with hundreds of volunteers have searched the areas around where the handwritten directions end, but there has been no sign of Gabe.
  • Gabe’s cell phone screen was also reportedly discovered by investigators. The FBI confirmed the DNA of Jones on the screen, according to Gabe’s father.
  • In the report sent to Gabe’s parents, police also noted that a friend of Jones said the suspect was “thinking about killing Alexis and wanted to know where the best place to hide a body,” to which they decided to be “in a septic tank or burying the body in a forest area.”

The family of Alexis Gabe, the Filipino American woman who was reported missing in late January in California, received new evidence on the possible location of her body.

The parents of the missing 27-year-old received handwritten notes by Gabe’s deceased ex-boyfriend Marshall Curtis Jones from the police on Thursday.

Dashcam captures couple ‘literally dodging a bullet’ during shootout on Oakland freeway

  • Garrett Mason and his fiancée Tina Do were driving eastbound on Interstate 580 on June 14 when a bullet shot through their vehicle’s front windshield and exited through the rear window.
  • The car’s dashboard camera captured the moment the bullet barely missed the couple who were caught in the crossfire of a shootout.
  • The California Highway Patrol, who said the incident is common in the area, is currently investigating the shooting.
  • With more than 80 freeway shootings in the Bay Area over the last four years, Governor Gavin Newsom has pledged funding for a new camera system across California.

A bullet barely missed a Bay Area couple who were caught in crossfire during a shootout on East Bay Freeway in Oakland. 

Garrett Mason and his fiancée Tina Do were leaving work in San Leandro and driving eastbound on Interstate 580 on June 14 when a bullet shot through their vehicle’s front windshield and exited through the rear window.

Lowell High School to return to merit-based admissions after San Francisco school board vote

  • The San Francisco Board of Education voted on Wednesday for Lowell High School to return to academic-based admissions after two years of using a lottery-based system.
  • Lowell employed the random lottery system for the 2021 school year as a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The system aimed to help improve the school’s diversity after complaints of the school’s “racist culture.”
  • Board officials decided to make the new system permanent in 2021, but a judge ruled that the board had violated the state’s open meeting law.
  • The school board approved the creation of a task force to examine San Francisco Unified School District high schools, including their admissions policies, as a way to improve the district’s high schools.

The San Francisco Board of Education voted the city’s top ​​public high school to return to academic-based admissions after two years of using a lottery-based system.    

In a 4-3 vote on Wednesday, the board’s decision will restore merit-based admissions for Lowell High School’s incoming freshmen in fall of 2023. Applicants must once again meet a designated grade point average and standardized test score criteria to qualify for admission to the school.

Dashcam footage captures moment San Jose woman driving home catches armed robbers in the act

  • A woman living in San Jose, California, caught robbers in the act while pulling into her driveway last week.
  • Dashcam footage from her vehicle shows multiple intruders running around her garage, with one of them holding a gun.
  • The woman called 911 to report the robbery, saying that her husband was being held at gunpoint and that she had an infant at home.
  • The robbers fled in a silver SUV that may have been stolen during another robbery two hours earlier.
  • Both incidents reportedly involved AAPI families.

A California woman pulling into her driveway made a frantic 911 call as she witnessed a group of robbers invade her San Jose home and hold her husband at gunpoint last week.

The woman’s dashcam caught parts of the incident at her residence on the 1000 block of Summerdale Drive at around 4 p.m. on May 31.

Nepali man brutally attacked from behind and left unconscious while grabbing food in Oakland

SAGAR TAMANG
  • Sagar Tamang, 25, was brutally attacked, robbed and left unconscious while grabbing food in front of the Fox Theater in Oakland on Saturday.
  • Tamang said he was left in an alley with most of his belongings missing, including his phone, wallet, boots, pants and coat.
  • He was taken to the Highland Hospital Emergency Department, where he was treated for level-one trauma. The assault left him with a beaten and swollen face.
  • Bimala Thapa, Tamang’s girlfriend, has created a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical bills.
  • The assault, which is currently not considered a hate crime, is under investigation by the Oakland Police Department. No arrests have been made as of this writing.

A Nepali man was brutally attacked, robbed and left unconscious while grabbing food after work in Oakland, California.

Sagar Tamang, 25, said he was attacked from behind while grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor at around 11 p.m. in front of the Fox Theater on Saturday.

Missing Bay Area woman Alexis Gabe believed murdered; ex-boyfriend killed by arresting officers

Alexis gabe
  • Marshall Curtis Jones, 27, was fatally shot by police officers in Kent, Washington, as he was being taken into custody in relation to the disappearance and presumed murder of Filipino American Alexis Gabe.
  • Law enforcement officials opened fire at Jones, who was pronounced dead after he reportedly charged at them with a knife.
  • Gabe, 24, was last seen visiting Jones’ home on Jan. 26 and is now presumed to be the victim of a homicide.
  • According to Oakley police, there was ample “digital and forensic” evidence linking Jones to Gabe’s disappearance.
  • The Seattle Police Department has been tasked with investigating the shooting.

A suspect who was being taken into custody for the disappearance and presumed murder of Filipino American Alexis Gabe was fatally shot by police officers in Kent, Washington, on Wednesday. 

Identified as the victim’s ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Marshall Curtis Jones was killed inside an apartment in the 3500 block of South 222 Place as the Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force was serving an arrest warrant at around 5:45 p.m.