SF man charged with 31 hate crimes over vandalism, burglary of 20 Chinese-owned businesses

Vandalism by man on Chinese-owned businesses

A San Francisco man is facing a slew of charges for alleged acts of vandalism and burglary in 20 Chinese-owned businesses in the city, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced on Monday.

The allegations: Derik Barreto, 36, is accused of targeting the Chinese-owned stores and seven others in the Mission District and the Ocean Avenue corridor. The attacks occurred between April and August this year, KPIX 5 reported.

  • Barreto allegedly rode on a scooter and used a slingshot, pipe or hammer to destroy the stores’ windows. In June, Dim Sum Corner, located on Grant Avenue and California Street, was attacked twice in one week by a man on a scooter with a slingshot, but it’s unclear if Barreto was behind those incidents.
  • Other businesses that suffered similar attacks include Chase Luck Bakery on Ocean Avenue, Bow Hon Restaurant on Grant Avenue (as per KTVU), Hon’s Wun-Tun House on Kearny Street (as per KTVU) and Gai Chicken Rice in the Castro District. Chase Luck Bakery, which suffered four attacks, is recovering with GoFundMe donations. It has raised over $4,800 as of this writing. 

The charges: Barreto faces a total of 33 separate charges. These include 27 felony counts of vandalism, four felony counts of second-degree burglary, one misdemeanor count of possession of burglary tools, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a concealed weapon, KRON 4 noted.

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  • Of those 33 charges, 31 have hate crime enhancements. Boudin’s office pursued those enhancements based on statements Barreto had allegedly made to the police, which suggested that he targeted the businesses because they were Chinese-owned.
  • In his announcement, Boudin acknowledged the rise in anti-Asian violence since the onset of COVID-19. “We absolutely do not tolerate violence or hate in San Francisco. Chinese-owned businesses should be able to operate without fear of being racially targeted by vandalism, burglary, or harassment,” the DA said. “We stand with San Francisco’s AAPI community against hate and will do everything in our power to make sure everyone is and feels safe.”

Boudin’s announcement comes as he faces renewed criticism in a fatal hit-and-run case, whose one of two victims was Asian. Critics believe the victims would still be alive if the DA had not discontinued California’s Three-Strikes law in the city, which would have kept the suspect — a repeat offender — behind bars.

Featured Image via Gai Chicken Rice / Dion Lim

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