A week after three Asian American seniors were brutally attacked on the streets of Oakland's Chinatown, police say they have arrested a person of interest whom they identified last week.
The suspect has not been publicly identified, but as KPIX reports, he was ID'd with the help of the community and surveillance video that was publicized late last week. It turned out that the suspect was already in police custody, having been arrested in connection with a different incident on Monday of last week.
The three assaults all occurred just after noon on Sunday, January 31, with the first on the 800 block of Harrison Street in Oakland. The suspect was seen on the surveillance video shown below shoving a 91-year-old man to the ground, and then proceeding to randomly target two other older victims in the nearby area.
Newly installed Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, who was sworn in on Monday morning, announced the arrest. But the OPD had previously said that the suspect was in custody on suspicion of the Monday crime.
Actors Daniel Wu, Daniel Dae Kim, and the Metropolitan Bank in Chinatown all offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of the assault suspect last week, and it's unclear if anyone claimed the reward.
Wu, who grew up in the East Bay, was planning to hold a press conference today to discuss combatting what seems to be a pattern of attacks on elderly Asians on both sides of the Bay.
"[The seniors are] defenseless people and they’re good people who’ve been through a lot to get to this country. And for you to attack them like that, for no real reason, it’s just completely beyond what I can accept. So we had to get involved," Wu said to KPIX last week.
Similarly violent attacks on seniors and street robberies in San Francisco's Chinatown happened in July 2019 and November 2019.
"For years, the Chinese community has been complaining that they've been disproportionately targeted for robberies, assaults in their homes, businesses and on the street," said SF Supervisor Gordon Mar after the July 2019 attack, in which two older men were injured.