A San Francisco jury has convicted a man of assault in a case that was among a string of violent incidents targeting older Bay Area residents of Asian descent in recent years.
The attack happened on June 8, 2022 just after 1 a.m., outside of an apartment building on Duboce Avenue. SFPD officers were called to the scene of a reported break-in attempt, but they ended up finding a woman, who owned the building and lived there, brutally beaten on the sidewalk outside.
As the SF District Attorney's Office explains in a release, the unnamed victim told police that she was asleep in her apartment when the defendant, 39-year-old Thomas Crandell, came banging and kicking at the glass door that is the entrance to the building. The woman saw Crandell on a surveillance camera, and she went outside to tell him to "move along."
It was then, as she testified in court, that Crandell called her an anti-Asian slur and slammed her into the glass door. He then reportedly took a metal scooter and struck her on the side of her body, and then shoved her to the ground where she hit her face.
Crandell fled the scene before police arrived, but he was arrested by Park Station officers 10 days later, and just stood trial for the crime.
The jury returned a verdict today of guilty of one felony count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.
"The defendant’s conduct was egregious and should never be tolerated in this city," said Assistant District Attorney Jamal Anderson in a statement. "I applaud the jury for clearly sending that message and providing justice to the victim, who displayed tremendous courage and resolve throughout this long process."
DA Brooke Jenkins added, "I would like to thank the jury for their service and delivering justice to this victim... My office will always stand with victims and fight for justice in the courtroom and do everything we can to protect the safety of the public."
Crandell now faces sentencing, which is scheduled for January 29. He could face up to four years in prison for the crime.
This incident preceded another, even more violent attack on Duboce Avenue one year later that left an older Asian woman dead. That attack occurred on May 5, 2023, and 64-year-old Mei Ran Hu was fatally stabbed inside her building on the 400 block of Duboce Avenue.
41-year-old Jesus Esparza was later arrested for the crime, and he has yet to stand trial.
Photo: Wesley Tingey