On Wednesday, a man and a woman, both of Asian descent, were assaulted in San Francisco in separate attacks by the same alleged suspect, police said.
Separately, three men were arrested for their alleged involvement in an assault and robbery of an Asian American man last month inside a San Francisco laundromat.
Violence toward Asian Americans has spiked nationwide, coinciding with the Covid-19 pandemic. Several unprovoked attacks against elderly Asian Americans in the Bay Area this year led, in part, to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office creating a special response unit focused on crimes against Asians, particularly older Asians.
Two people attacked within minutes in San Francisco
On Wednesday morning in San Francisco, an Asian man and woman were assaulted by the same suspect in separate attacks, police said.
“Investigators are working to determine if bias was a motivating factor in the incident,” San Francisco Police Officer Adam Lobsinger said in a statement.
“He hit people,” the woman is heard saying in the video, speaking in Cantonese. “He bullies old people,” she said, “so I gave a punch.”
The woman says to the man “You jerk,” then tells police, “He bullied me, he bullied me, jerk.”
Both the suspect, a 39-year-old man, and the 75-year-old woman were taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Lobsinger said, with the suspect treated for “an unrelated, prior medical condition.”
Officers had been called after an earlier attack on an 83-year-old man, Lobsinger said. A local security guard pursued the suspect on foot, Lobsinger said, and as he was fleeing, police say he assaulted the woman.
The injured woman told KPIX she had been leaning against a utility pole when the man punched her without provocation.
The victims and suspect have not been officially identified and the incident remains under investigation.
Arrests made in laundromat assault caught on video
Three young men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly robbing and assaulting an older Asian man last month in an attack caught on surveillance video inside a San Francisco laundromat.
The 67-year-old victim, who was not identified, suffered non-life threatening injuries from the attack, police said.
The men arrested were identified by police as Calvin Berschell, Jason Orozco, and Nolowde Beshears. All three are 19 years old and live in Antioch, California, a suburban community located about 45 miles east of San Francisco.
Arrest warrants were served early Wednesday morning in Antioch and all three were taken into custody without incident, according to a release from SFPD. While executing a search warrant, police seized two weapons and evidence relating to the robbery.
Court dates and bail have not yet been set. It is unclear if any of the three men retained attorneys.
Police expect the men to be charged with burglary robbery, elder abuse, and assault. A case has not yet been presented to the District Attorney’s office, according to spokeswoman Rachel Marshall.
CNN’s Eric Levenson, Stephanie Becker, Dan Simon and Jadyn Sham contributed to this report.