SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Police in San Francisco on Wednesday morning arrested suspects in connection with the assault and robbery of a 67-year-old male Asian victim at a Chinatown laundromat last month as well as other crimes.
Police said that on February 23, shortly before 10 p.m., officers responded to a reported robbery that occurred at a Chinatown laundromat on the 1200 block of Mason Street.
Arriving officers met with the 67-year-old Asian male victim who said he was inside the laundromat when three unknown male suspects approached him, throwing him to the ground, assaulting him and stealing his property before fleeing the scene.
The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries from the attack. KPIX 5 later obtained surveillance camera images that showed the assault and robbery as it took place.
The victim is seen being dragged from the chair he was sitting in and thrown to the floor of the laundromat as the three suspects appear to go through his pant pockets before leaving him on the ground.
The SFPD robbery detail took over the investigation and developed leads that identified the suspects as three Antioch residents: 19-year-old Calvin Berschell, 19-yearold Jason Orozco and 19-year-old Nolowde Beshears.
Early Wednesday morning, SFPD investigators and members of the department’s tactical unit served simultaneous search and arrest warrants on the 4900 block of Willowhaven Street and the 500 block of West 17th Street in Antioch. All three suspects were taken into custody without incident.
Evidence related to the robbery and auto burglaries including clothing, a window punch and two firearms was seized during the arrest, which was executed in collaboration with the Antioch Police Department.
In addition to the Chinatown laundromat robbery, the suspects were wanted in
connection with multiple auto burglaries in the area of John and Powell Streets that happened shortly before the Mason Street robbery.
Berschell, Orozco and Behears were all transported to the San Francisco County Jail and booked on charges of burglary, robbery, elder abuse, fraudulent use of a credit card, false imprisonment, assault likely to produce great bodily harm and conspiracy.
Police did not state whether there were hate-crime enhancements expected in connection with the charges the suspect already face.
The arrests of the three suspects come amid increasing pressure on police departments in the Bay Area — particularly in San Francisco and Oakland — to curb the spike in assaults and robberies targeting older Asian victims.
On Wednesday morning, an older Asian woman being attacked on Market Street in San Francisco turned the tables on her assailant, leaving him with injuries that required a trip to the hospital.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 150% in 2020, even as hate crimes overall declined. In January, a 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown. An uprovoked assault in San Francisco killed 94-year-old Vichar Ratanapakdee, while another assault left 75-year-old Pak Ho dead in Oakland last week.
Most recently, 59-year-old Danny Yu Chang was severely beaten on San Francisco’s Market St. on Monday, leaving him with serious injuries.
While arrests have been made, police said this remains an open investigation. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the SFPD 24-hour tip line at 415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.