Four suspects have been identified and three were arrested in last month’s group attack on a 70-year-old woman in Chinatown, but it certainly complicates their prosecution that the suspects are ages 18, 14, 13, and... 11.
The broad daylight group attack on a 70-year-old woman on July 31 near Chinatown was first reported locally by KGO, and has since made national news, and international news amidst another apparent surge in violent attacks on Bay Area Asian women and elders. We initially learned the victim goes by the surname “Mrs. Ren,” and SF police now know the identities of all four attackers.
But they can only name one of the alleged attackers, 18-year-old Darryl Moore of Oakland, because the other three alleged attackers are under 18 years old and therefore juveniles. And as the Bay Area News Group reports, one of the accused attackers is only 11 years old.
𝟳𝟬-𝗬/𝗢 𝗠𝗿𝘀. 𝗥𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗻 & 𝗸𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝟰 𝗷𝘂𝘃𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘅 𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝗮𝗻 𝗙𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗼.— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) August 2, 2022
Warning: I’ve seen many attacks but this incident is next-level heinous.
🧵⬇️ #stopaapihate pic.twitter.com/7NNYCxLrcF
KPIX has video of Monday's press conference announcing the arrests, seen below. SFPD Chief Bill Scott told those gathered, “The sad part is that we’re here in front of you talking about 14, 13, and 11-year-olds, committing violent robberies.” (Mrs. Ren was reportedly robbed of her iPhone and keys, in addition to the kicks to the head she endured).
Apparently none of the four suspects are San Francisco residents, and most have a previous record. “On August 10, 2022, Milpitas Police Department Officers contacted [the 18-year-old suspect] Moore, the 13-year-old suspect, and the 11-year-old suspect on an unrelated criminal matter and arrested them,” SFPD said in a Monday statement. “The 13-year-old suspect was booked on unrelated charges at Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall and is being transferred to the custody of Alameda County, who will book them on the warrant in this case.”
In terms of the 11-year-old, SFPD says “The 11-year-old suspect was transferred to the custody of the Alameda County Assessment Center,” and that “Due to their age, the 11-year-old suspect could not be charged in this case.”
The 14-year-old suspect is still at large. The 18-year-old Moore is currently detained in Santa Clara County Jail.
New SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins explained that she’s not pursuing hate crime charges in the matter, or not yet at least. “With regard to hate crimes, they do require the proof of motive,” the Chronicle quotes her as saying. “That oftentimes requires an expression from an assailant or some investigation into past history.”
Update: The 18-year-old suspect, Darryl Moore, has now been charged with felony elder abuse, robbery in the first degree, first degree burglary, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and false imprisonment. The 11-year-old will not be charged.
Jenkins’s recalled predecessor Chesa Boudin took plenty of heat for not charging certain attacks on AAPI victims as hate crimes, and while it may be the wiser prosecutorial choice, Jenkins is getting the same criticism over some of the attacks being prosecuted on her watch.
The question is whether she can manage the fallout better, and to that end, she’s having a 6 p.m. town hall meeting tonight on the topic at Central Chinese High School.
Image: via SFPD