An 18-year-old man and two minors aged 13 and 11 have been arrested in connection with the brutal robbery of a 70-year-old Asian American woman in San Francisco late last month.
The incident, which was caught by a security camera, reportedly occurred in the lobby of an apartment complex in the 100 block of Francisco St. at around 5 p.m. on July 31. The group of attackers included a 14-year-old who remains at large.
Before the attack, the assailants allegedly approached the victim and talked to her outside the building. However, she did not understand what they were saying due to a language barrier, according to reports.
They then followed the victim into the lobby, where they allegedly punched and kicked her. They then took her belongings before fleeing the scene.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“They got really mad and pulled me down,” the 70-year-old victim, identified only as Mrs. Ren, told ABC7 News through an interpreter after the attack. “They used their fist to hit my head multiple times and then they pulled me down and kept kicking me.” Less than two weeks into the investigation, police zeroed in on 18-year-old Darryl Moore and the three minors as suspects. Save for the 14-year-old, they were arrested on Aug. 10 after being contacted on another criminal matter, according to CBS News.
Moore has been charged with robbery, elder abuse, burglary, false imprisonment and conspiracy. San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott described the incident as yet “another senseless and heinous act of violence” against the Asian American community.
“Although we made multiple arrests, our goal is always to stop and address crime before it happens,” Scott said in a Chinatown press conference on Monday. He added that his department has heightened patrols in crime hotspots.
Meanwhile, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins confirmed that only Moore will be tried as an adult. The 13-year old and 14-year-old attackers will go through the juvenile detention system, while the 11-year-old will be considered “a community issue” since he is too young to face charges. Whether the older assailants in this recent robbery will face hate crime charges remains to be seen.
“With respect to hate crimes, they do require proof of motive,” Jenkins said. “That often requires some expression, verbally, from an assailant, or some level of investigation into past history, into social media content.”
Moore, who reportedly has no arrest record in the city, was booked into Santa Clara County Jail before being transferred to the custody of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are still looking for the 14-year-old assailant. Anyone with information is urged to call 1-415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411, starting the message with “SFPD.”