OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President Carl Chan, who has spearheaded calls for increased police presence in the Oakland neighborhood during a rise in violence targeting Asian Americans, was the victim of a brazen daylight assault, authorities said.
Oakland police said the assault took place in the 400 block of 8th St. in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood at about 4 p.m. Thursday.READ MORE: Oakland City Council Votes to Defund Police, Stripping More Than $17M from Department Budget
Chan, who lives in nearby Alameda, was in Oakland to run an errand and then planned to visit a prior assault victim at their home.
“I was making a turn and then the attack came so sudden. It was a cowardly attack, from behind,” Chan told KPIX 5.
Chan fell to the pavement, suffering scrapes and bruises and blacked out momentarily.
“It hurts more than it looks,” Chan told KPIX 5.
During the attack, Chan said his attacker called him an ethnic slur and cursed repeatedly. “He did not rob me so it was basically, is just an assault; an attack,” Chan said.
Chan told KPIX 5 that while he was on the ground, he took a picture of the suspect walking away, something which he has advised while educating the public about attacks against the AAPI community.READ MORE: 165 Pounds Of Fireworks Seized, Man Arrested In Oakland Crackdown
“I did what exactly what I told others. What I want to make sure everyone understands, when things happen to you, be calm and understand how to protect yourself as much as you could,” Chan said.
Chan has organized multiple stop the hate rallies and even convinced Oakland Police to bring back the Chinatown liaison officer.
“Carl — as tough as he is — he was able to take pictures of this guy,” Oakland Police Captain Bobby Hookfin told the San Francisco Chronicle.
A short time later, Oakland police — aided by the photos — were able to take a suspect into custody. The suspect’s identity had not been disclosed as of early Friday morning.
The man Chan was planning to visit was a Chinese senior who was attacked on a bus earlier this week.
“I had to stand strong. I cannot be allowing myself to be a victim, or other people to become victims of crime. So that is the reason why I have to speak out,” Chan saidMORE NEWS: Menlo Park Fire Chief: Time Is Short in Search for Survivors of Florida Condo Collapse
Police said the investigation was ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the investigators at (510) 238-3326.