California teenagers pushed and beat an 80-year-old Asian resident during a robbery in San Leandro amid the rising number of anti-Asian hate crimes.
Video footage of the incident showed the victim yelling for help as the suspects beat and rob him. One of the teenagers could be heard laughing in the recording of the crime. Police said the suspects were around the ages of 16 to 19 years.
Asian Hate Crime
The San Leandro Police Department said victims of Asian American residents in the region have increased by 283% from 2019 to 2020.
“It’s crazy to see kids that age doing that kind of stuff going down that road already,” the owner of the security camera that captured the incident who wish to be referred to as “Marcos,” said.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, San Leandro police have recorded a rising number of anti-Asian American hate crimes. A San Leandro woman was seen giving out letters to Asian residents in May 2020 while demanding them to leave the county. Another Asian man was attacked and robbed outside a bank in February 2021.
San Leandro Police Department’s Lt. Ali Khan said they were “shocked” when they saw the demographics of crime victims in the region. “From 2019 to 2020, we saw an almost 300% increase in crimes towards our Asian and Pacific Islander community members,” he said.
While he was not certain of the percentage of hate crimes among the surge of incidents, Khan said: “Numbers don’t lie.” The department has increased its patrols while working together with the District Attorney on dealing with minors. Khan said they wanted to provide other punishments to minors other than placing them in prisons.
Marcos said he wanted criminals to take responsibility for their misdeeds. He said he noticed more crimes in recent months and that suspects are not learning the consequences of their actions.
Law enforcement said they were conducting investigations to determine the identity of the suspects. However, they said there was not enough evidence to consider the attack as a hate crime.
Police revealed that the senior Asian victim sustained minor injuries during the encounter and was robbed of his watch. He said the suspects assaulted him because of his race. “He thought he was targeted for being Asian,” one neighbor said, Independent reported.
Authorities said the suspects quickly fled the scene when the Asian man started calling for help. Within two hours of the attack on the senior, witnesses saw a black sedan, similar to the one used by the suspects, in San Leandro.