SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco law enforcement leaders say they are standing together against crimes targeting Asian Americans.
Asian Americans in San Francisco say they are constantly on guard, worried about being attacked for who they are.
One attack last Friday and another on Monday are just two of the high-profile incidents where older Asian Americans were targeted.
"Every time we hear about these hate attacks, and attacks on these seniors, I'm sure all of your hearts fell many, many notches because you feel, ‘why would anyone kick an 88-year-old lady,’" said Anni Chung from Self-Help for the Elderly.
Community members referred to two recent incidents: One on Monday where a 68-year-old Asian American was assaulted in the city's Ingleside District, police made an arrest in this case, and another last Friday when an 88-year-old victim was kicked and assaulted.
Police arrested 27-year-old James Lee Ramsey at the scene. He has been charged for the assault and elder abuse.
The Chief of Police and District Attorney said they have a clear message when it comes to attacks on Asian Americans.
"What we're seeing against our elderly AAPI community and everything that goes along with that is unacceptable," said Chief Bill Scott.
Ramsey was previously arrested for assaulting the head of Oakland's Chinatown Chamber of Commerce in 2021. In that case he was determined to be mentally ill, and was ordered to spend 18 months in county jail and another 18 months of supervision.
San Francisco's District Attorney said she has asked that both recent suspects be detained, and that those who need mental health care need to receive it, but that there also needs to be consequences for the violent and unprovoked attacks.
"We have got to get this city to a place where people understand that there is accountability for their actions," said San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.
Jenkins said prosecuting these cases as hate crimes can be challenging because prosecutors have to prove that the assaults were motivated by the race or ethnicity of the victim, she says her office is looking at evidence including previous behavior to inform how her prosecutors will proceed.