A pair of violent incidents in Chinatown are being investigated as potentially linked after four suspects in a dark-colored SUV assaulted three elderly men in Chinatown's Portsmouth Square on Saturday, following a violent robbery involving a similar vehicle the night before.
On Friday, a violent purse-snatching happened outside a bakery on Jackson Street and the suspects fled in a dark SUV. Then on Saturday night around 9 p.m., at least two suspects assaulted three men in their 60s in Portsmouth Square in what's been described as an attempted robbery, and a total of four suspects fled in a similar vehicle.
The violent incident was captured on video shot from a nearby window and shared on social media. In the video, you can see a suspect punch a man who falls backwards seemingly unconscious to the ground.
SFPD looking for suspects behind an assault and violent attempted robbery of 3 men in their 60s in Chinatown near Portsmouth Square last night. They took off in a dark colored SUV. @KPIXtv @SFPD https://t.co/gQWalSRLQy pic.twitter.com/pKoDzDCMo6— Betty Yu (@BettyKPIX) November 11, 2019
As NBC Bay Area reports, Portsmouth Square is a popular gathering place for elderly residents and serves as a kind of outdoor "living room" for the neighborhood.
The three victims were all treated for minor injuries and two who went to the hospital have since been released.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin tells KPIX, "I have every confidence that they will apprehend someone of the three or four suspects in this case and they will be made to face the consequences."
This incident follows another high-profile street robbery in the neighborhood in July that left one man injured. In October, the SFPD arrested 19-year-old Dashawn Pierson of Oakland on suspicion of robbery and assault in connection with that incident. Chinatown residents have complained over the years that they feel they are being targeted by criminals from outside the area.
Betty Louie of the Chinatown Merchants Association tells ABC 7, "We are trying to make it a visitor friendly destination at the same time, you get these thugs who come in and beat up people for no reason, it's a hate crime."
Anyone with information about Saturday's assaults can contact the SFPD's anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.