An assault and robbery in Oakland's Adams Point neighborhood has become a murder case, after the 75-year-old Asian man who was attacked died from his injuries on Thursday.
The victim, identified as Pak Ho, was reportedly out for his regular morning walk in the neighborhood on Tuesday when he was approached and shoved by a suspect police have identified as 26-year-old Teaunte Bailey. Witness describe seeing the suspect kicking away the cane that Ho was using to help him walk, shoving him to the ground, and stealing his wallet and phone.
Ho reportedly hit his head on the pavement, sustained a traumatic brain injury, and was on life support for the past two days before passing away.
The attack, which happened near the intersection of Jayne Avenue and Perkins Street, near Lake Merritt, was witnessed by multiple neighbors who spoke to ABC 7 on Tuesday.
"We were like 'What happened?' and she said 'He got attacked' and I was like 'He got attacked, call the police, call the cops!'" said one witness. Another neighbor told the station that she had warned Mr. Ho not to walk in Chinatown, but she had never thought he'd be attacked in his own quiet neighborhood.
Bailey turns out to have been arrested and charged in a similar violent assault and robbery of an elderly victim last month. As KPIX reports, Bailey is accused of breaking into a senior living apartment in Oakland on February 19, and violently pushing a 72-year-old victim and robbing them.
It sounds like Bailey had been in custody for that crime, but was released to home supervision sometime in recent weeks, possibly just days before the March 9 attack on Mr. Ho. He was also arrested and charged with felony robbery in April 2020.
He was located by police on Tuesday night, and, following a pursuit, was arrested and taken into custody again.
The case gained national attention Wednesday night on ABC News, even before the 75-year-old victim had passed away.
The attack comes after months of escalating attacks and robberies of Asian Americans in Oakland Chinatown, San Francisco Chinatown, and elsewhere in California. Mayor London Breed was touring SF Chinatown two week ago when she spoke to reporters about the attacks that had been happening, suggesting the perpetrators had come from outside the city. "When you come to San Francisco with the expectation to harm somebody here in this city, there will be consequences," Breed said. "So really don't come to our city with all that bullshit because we're not having it."
Bailey has been charged with special circumstances murder and multiple felony charges, and he's being arraigned in Oakland on Friday.
"I am saddened to hear of yet another violent attack on the elders of our community," Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said in a statement. "The trauma this causes has a ripple effect, on the victim, their family, and the entire community. My officers are dedicated to bringing those involved in this senseless crime and all crimes to justice."