SAN FRANCISCO - An alleged vandal who rode a scooter and used a slingshot to deface 20-primarily Chinese-owned businesses will face hate crime charges, the San Francisco district attorney announced Monday.
DA Chesa Boudin said that Derik Barreto was expected to be arraigned on Monday afternoon. However, the arraignment is being held off because a Portuguese interpreter is needed. Efforts to reach him or his attorney were not immediately successful.
Prosecutors are charging him with 27 separate incidents that occurred between April and August, including vandalism, burglary and 31 hate-crime enhancements. The hate-crime enhancements stem from comments he allegedly made to police, Boudin said, suggesting that he intentionally targeted the businesses he thought they were Chinese-owned.
"We absolutely do not tolerate violence or hate in San Francisco," Boudin said in a statement. "Chinese-owned businesses should be able to operate without fear of being racially targeted by vandalism, burglary, or harassment."
Prosecutors allege Barreto traveled on a scooter and shattered the windows of 20 separate stores, using a slingshot, pipe, or hammer to break windows of shops along the Ocean Avenue corridor and in the Mission.
The district attorney’s office also charged five counts of second-degree burglary based on five occasions where Barreto allegedly took cash and other items after entering through the businesses’ broken windows.
In June, KTVU reported that San Francisco police were investigating a string of vandalism cases with possible racism at the heart of the destruction.
Surveillance video taken from Hon's Wun-Tun House on Kearny Street at the end of May shows a man walking up with a scooter and using a sling-shot to vandalize the restaurant.
Owner Amanda Yan pointed to three spots where her glass door and windows were damaged.
She said the vandalism is adding to her financial struggle coping with the loss of business due to the pandemic.
And on Grant Avenue, the owner of Bow Hon Restaurant had to pick up the pieces of his shattered window.
"It's just been really, really disappointing," said Jaynry Mak who owns Dim Sum Corner and whose windows were struck by a slingshot twice.
KTVU's Amber Lee contributed to this report.