SAN FRANCISCO (CBS S) — Police in San Francisco on Thursday said the department is aware of a circulating social media post warning about an alleged random assault targeting older Asian victims on a Muni bus last week.
Police said the assault allegedly took place on a Muni bus last Friday, March 19th.READ MORE: San Leandro Community Rallies for Reform on Anniversary of Steven Taylor's Police Shooting Death
The posts circulated on Twitter and other social media services claimed the attack happened after a group of nine or ten teens boarded an 8X Muni bus on Friday night at around 9 p.m. and started slapping older Asian passengers, warning community members to stay alert.
San Francisco police said they had no record of the attacks described.
“We have not located any police reports related to this social media post and we are not able to corroborate claims of a ‘slap’ challenge taking place in the Bay Area,” the release issued by SFPD said.
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Despite having no confirmation that the assaults took place, the department said that SFPD has shared the information with SFMTA/Muni as well as other law enforcement and transit partners “out of an abundance of caution.”
Police encouraged public transit passengers to report issues on transit vehicles to bus drivers or train operators. The public can report any crimes in progress or other emergencies by calling 9-1-1, police said.READ MORE: Lodi Parachute Center Skydiver Dies After Chute Gets Tangled on Descent
The department has officers assigned to the Field Operations Bureau who respond to calls for service on Muni 24 hours a day, police said. A team of both uniformed officers and plainclothes investigators cover the SFPD/MTA detail.
The release also noted that San Francisco’s Emergency Service Dispatchers and First Responders have access to language line interpreters for those who have limited proficiency with the English language.
San Francisco officials have announced a number of steps police and other agencies are taking to reduce the rising number of attacks on Asian citizens, including increased police patrols in Chinatown and other areas of the city.
On Wednesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city would be instituting two new programs: one introducing expanded community safety teams that will patrol key neighborhood corridors throughout San Francisco, and a second that will serve as an extension of a program to accompany seniors to medical and personal appointments.
On Tuesday, a group of San Francisco firefighters is coordinating their own effort to help curb street violence with volunteer patrols.
“We are going to be there in numbers and in strength and do what we need to do to defend these people,” said retired San Francisco Fire Department Fire Marshall Paul Chin.MORE NEWS: Saratoga Resident Displaced in 2-Alarm House Fire Sunday Morning
“We know the police officers can’t be everywhere. We wish,” said John Choy of the San Francisco Fire Department.