A 65-year-old Filipino American man ended up in a hospital after falling victim to a brutal carjacking just blocks away from his home in Oakland, California last week.
The incident reportedly occurred outside a FoodMaxx grocery store. The victim, who works as a Lyft driver, relies on his car as his only source of income. When he was allegedly attacked at gunpoint, he tried to put up a fight for his vehicle.
“He was hit over the head with a gun and he was trying to stop him from taking his car. So, he put his body to get in the way of getting inside the vehicle and the person took off with his car and dragged his body in the parking lot,” Sara Guillermo, the victim’s niece, told NBC Bay Area.
Guillermo claims the words leading up to the assault were racist.
“While they were trying to steal his car, they thought he was Chinese, so they were talking about COVID and being an Asian American in America,” she said.
The suspect stole the victim’s white Toyota Corolla with California license plate 8GMA097. As of this writing, the suspect remains at large.
Guillermo shared that her uncle — who was sent to Highland Hospital with minor injuries — fears that his attacker might return for him.
Police have yet to determine whether the crime was motivated by hate. FoodMaxx has not released a statement regarding the incident.
A 57-year-old Asian man also tried to fight back during a robbery in Oakland on Saturday. The suspect has yet to be apprehended.
Feature Image Screenshots via NBC Bay Area