In an announcement Monday, police officials in San Francisco said they arrested four people in connection to the violent robbery of an elderly Asian American woman. While crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, especially those targeting the elderly, have been on the rise, the age of the suspects in this case is shocking.
Police identified the arrested suspects as children and teens, with the youngest being only 11 years old. During the press conference, the only suspect identified by name was 18-year-old Darryl Moore. The others were referred to by their ages since they were minors.
While the 11- and 13-year-old were arrested Wednesday in Milpitas in connection with an unrelated crime, the 14-year-old has not been located. A warrant has been issued for their arrest, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said.
Scott called the arrests “really, really sad,” given their age.
“I think everybody standing here is probably shocked that we’ve got young children involved in these types of vicious assaults,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said Monday during a press conference, which included officials from the city, police department, and local Asian community organizations.
According to CBS News, police officials said Moore has been charged with robbery, elder abuse, burglary, false imprisonment, and conspiracy. The 14- and 13-year-old suspects are facing the same charges; however, the 11-year-old cannot be charged in the case because of their age. Instead, that child was transferred to the custody of the Alameda County Assessment Center.
The arrests are in connection to a July 31 incident. A 70-year-old woman was allegedly standing in front of a building when four people approached her. Due to a language barrier, the woman was unable to understand them. However, as she entered the lobby of the building, the four people followed her inside and beat and robbed the woman of her property.
The disturbing incident was first reported by ABC News affiliate KGO’s Dion Lim, who shared video footage depicting the four suspects kicking the woman in the head.
The woman, identified as Mrs. Ren, was taken to a local hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Whether hate crime charges will be considered has not yet been announced.
“We will base our decisions off of what evidence is in front of us and we will continue to pursue other avenues of investigation to see what else we can find,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also noted that Moore, being the only one not classified as a minor, will be tried as an adult while the two teenagers will proceed through the juvenile detention system.
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