SF DA withdraws charges in attack on elderly man, chooses 'restorative justice' model instead

The San Francisco District Attorney withdrew charges on Monday against one of two suspects in a widely publicized attack on a Chinese man who had been collecting recyclables in San Francisco’s Bayview district. 

Chesa Boudin first told the Chronicle that his office will pursue a “restorative justice” model against 20-year-old Dwayne Grayson, who was arrested last week on suspicion of robbery, elder abuse, a hate crime charge and probation violation following the attack on Feb. 22. 

SFPD: Arrest made in assault, robbery of elderly Chinese man

San Francisco police said Grayson recorded the attack and posted it to social media. The second suspect, Jonathan Amerson, 56, turned himself in on Sunday, and was booked on charges of robbery and elder abuse.

Boudin charged Grayson with elder abuse but decided to change his mind after talking with the elderly man, DA spokesman Alex Bastian, told the Chronicle. Boudin did not make mention of changing his charging decision in Amerson's case. 

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If restorative justice does not work, the district attorney’s office told the Chronicle Boudin will still have the option to file criminal charges.

The elderly man has not been identified or spoken publicly about the ordeal. At the time, he had been collecting items on Oceola Lane when he was attacked for no apparent reason. Suspects are seen on video stealing from him, and one of them appears to try and strike the him with a weapon. 

As onlookers filmed and taunted the man, someone in the background can be heard saying, "I hate Asians."