A disturbing viral video shows an attacker chasing an elderly man in San Francisco and taking a swing at him with a stick or pole while observers stand by, laugh, and record the incident on their cellphones. The clip also shows the victim crying as his attacker steals his cans, while others mock the victim. At one point a voice cries out, "I hate Asians."
Here's video of the incident (content warning: language, racial slurs):
California state Senator Scott Wiener told KGO-TV the incident should be investigated as a hate crime.
"It appears to me that victim's status as a Chinese American was part of the reason for the attack," Wiener added to the station.
San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar raised concerns over the video at a board meeting recently, KGO said, adding that Mar introduced a police procedures amendment that would highlight crime demographics: "This legislation came directly from growing fears within the Asian community that they have been increasingly victimized by both violent and property crime."
Police investigators are looking at surveillance video at a recycling plant near the scene of the crime to try to find the victim, the station said, adding that many who drop off cans for money are Asian seniors.
"I've seen people come in here with black eyes, male and female, some of them in their 70s," Charlie Rodriguez, a manager at Planet Recycling S.F., told KGO. "I don't know if that happens in their house or in the street while they try and collect. It's just not right."