SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police said Wednesday they arrested three men in connection with a brazen attack on a 67-year-old man inside a laundromat in Chinatown last month, one of several recent attacks on elderly Asian Americans in the Bay Area.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, was seated inside the laundromat on the evening of Feb. 23 when three men walked in and one of them jump-kicked him in the chest. The trio then threw him to the floor, assaulted and robbed him and fled, according to the police and surveillance footage of the attack. The victim was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Police arrested the three suspects Wednesday morning, all 19-year-olds from the city of Antioch, who were also wanted in connection with auto burglaries that occurred shortly before the laundromat attack, the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement. Police seized evidence during the arrests including two guns and a window punch, believed to have been used in the spate of crimes, the statement said. It identified the three men as Calvin Berschell, Jason Orozco and Nolowde Beshears.
Police said earlier Wednesday they were increasing patrols in Asian neighborhoods, following the deadly shootings in Georgia that left six Asian women and two others dead and the recent surge of violence in the Bay area. The attacks have raised new fears for members of the Asian American community, who have increasingly been targets of harassment and violence since the coronavirus started spreading in the U.S.
At roughly the same time police announced stepped up patrols, two more attacks took place in San Francisco, KPIX-TV reported..
In one of them, a 75-year-old Chinese woman was approached by a 39-year-old man who started punching her out of the blue. She responded by repeatedly hitting the man with a stick. Police said both the assailant and the victim, who sustained severe bruising on her face, were taken to a hospital.
Officers said the assailant was believed to have assaulted an 83-year-old Asian man in the same area shortly before, KPIX reported. Details of that attack were not immediately available. The 39-year-old was being investigated in both.