In May, a 70-year-old Asian man was attacked in Noe Valley, the assailant also trying to steal a watch off the man's wrist. But San Francisco police have now arrested and detained the twentysomething thought to be responsible for the assault.
Attacks on AAPI community members have been on an alarming rise ever since the pandemic began in 2020. San Francisco has served as a nexus of the increased violence against Asian minorities, with stabbings, attacks, and robberies—especially among the elderly—attracting media attention from around the country.
San Francisco Police Arrest Noe Valley Attempted Armed Robbery Suspect— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) August 13, 2021
Please visit the attached link to read the full synopsis regarding this incident ➡️https://t.co/gSkZm2RD8D pic.twitter.com/P8zSncn9Zv
On May 25 at 3:07 p.m., a 70-year-old Asian man, whose name has yet to be shared and who later suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the attack, was assaulted in an otherwise sleepy part of the city. (The attacker also injured a 30-year-old female who was a friend of the man and was trying to intervene; both the man and woman had their wounds treated by on-site first responders.)
The attacker, however, has now been arrested and detained, according to KRON4, after investigators were able to use DNA samples from the victims’ clothing to identify and locate the assailant.
"Investigators were able to obtain a sample of the suspect's DNA on the victim's clothing. Investigators also obtained the suspect's phone records, which placed him at the scene," reads a press release from SFPD. "The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Dreshaun Townsend of South San Francisco. On August 10, 2021, investigators from the SFPD Robbery Detail along with members of the SFPD Tactical Unit served search and arrest warrants on the 3700 block of Radburn Drive in South San Francisco."
Per the police department, Townsend was then taken into custody and placed under arrest without incident. Hew was later transported to San Francisco County Jail where he's presently booked on "charges of attempted robbery (664/211 PC), assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury (245(a)(4) PC), and a firearm enhancement (12022.53(a) PC)." According to SFPD, Townsend also had two outstanding warrants based out of San Benito and Kern Counties.
Though an arrest was made, SF police have noted this remains an open and active investigation — so those with information are asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with "SFPD."
For more information on both hate crimes and hate incidences, as well as the defining characters between the two, visit sf-hrc.org/san-francisco-coalition-against-hate-violence-cahv.
Photo: Getty Images/Alex_Schmidt