Previously: SFPD Nabs Suspect In Muni Stop Attack

San Francisco police have increased patrols along the Bayview District’s Third Street corridor in response to three assaults in the past two months at or near San Francisco Municipal Railway T-Third light rail stops.

Police are investigating whether any of the incidents, including one in which an elderly man was attacked and later died, are related.

In all three cases, the victims were assaulted in the early evening by groups of boys ages 14 to 16, according to police. All three victims were Asian, but police said there is no evidence at this point that the attacks were racially motivated.

The latest assault occurred Saturday between 7:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. on a Muni train pulling into the stop at Third Street and Williams Avenue, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

Esparza said the victim, a 29-year-old man riding a southbound train, was punched repeatedly by five to seven boys as he tried to exit the train. The boys said nothing and ran out of the train at the station.

The victim stayed on the train and reported the attack to the conductor, who called police. The man was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

On March 22, five boys attacked a 57-year-old woman on a Muni platform at Third Street and Oakdale Avenue–two stops north of where Saturday’s assault happened–at about 7:30 p.m., according to police.

One of the suspects threw the woman from the platform onto the tracks and continued to assault her, police said. She was later treated for her injuries, which were not considered life-threatening.

That attack was caught on Muni surveillance video, and police on Wednesday arrested a 15-year-old San Francisco boy believed to have thrown the woman onto the tracks. The boy, who has not been named, was charged with assault.

On Jan. 24 at about 6:20 p.m., five boys assaulted 83-year-old Huan Chen, after he left a bus stop at Third Street and Oakdale Avenue, police said.

Chen, a San Francisco resident, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with a head injury and died on March 19, according to police.

The medical examiner’s office is still investigating whether the injuries from the assault directly caused Chen’s death, and has not yet ruled the case a homicide.

The motives for all three attacks are still being investigated, but none of the victims was robbed, police said.

Anyone with information about the three cases, or who may have been the victim of a similar incident, is asked to call the Bayview station at (415) 671-2300 or the anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.

The attacks have prompted Bayview station officers to step up patrols along the Third Street corridor, Esparza said.

Police are trying to determine whether the suspects from Saturday’s assault were captured on Muni surveillance video or on nearby street cameras, Esparza said.

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  • renegade

    Comment that would have been more appropriate for SFGate used to be in this space! But, SORRY, using racist terms and advocating for race war: not OK on the Appeal. You can express frustration with the situation without talking that way, I just know it! — EB

  • Xenu

    “Asian youth gang”? What are they going to do, confront the black gang in World of Warcraft?

  • wordygirl

    It breaks my heart that thugs are attacking people in their ’50s and ’80s. (Notice how I left race out of it?!)

  • Pumpkin Pie

    The third victim was not in his ’50s or ’80s. Dunno what’s goin’ on. Avoid the area at night?

  • Harmonic Diversity

    I don’t fathom why this publication looks upon race negatively. Race is actually a positive inclusion, whether victim or suspect, as it identifies certain communities which need to rectify any deficits. If you simply say both victim and suspect are members of the human race, guaranteed that nobody will make an effort to fix the problem.

    The 2010 census is all about race. If you read the form, race is used in criteria for funding and other aspects to provide services. Race-based people identify with issues and want to be part of the solution, working within their own communities.

    I worked for a 501(c)3 non-profit activist organization where I was required to acknowledge race, that race was an identifier to determine if a community or certain portions of a community were successful or not. This helped in seeking funding and grants to create or modify programs.

    In BVHP, knowing the perpetrators are young African Americans will assist community leaders, politicians, D10 candidates, etc., to address the issue and ascertain why this is happening, and if there are alternatives to young African Americans hanging out on Muni platforms in the evening. Perhaps this segment would be better served by an after school program or some other activity.

    Acknowledging the victims as Asian Americans, and one of them died, allows the Asian American community to education their constituency, maybe through native language media, that there is a potential threat in a specific part of town.

    Overall, race helps bring communities together to discuss issues, and maybe one of these issues is stereotyping and profiling, which seem to disappear when people work together and coexist. Saying we are all human and Americans who reside in a melting pot where “we is all cool” simply sidesteps issues and prolongs animosity.

    If you want to engage with me privately, whether good or bad, feel free to send me an email.

  • Eve Batey

    What? Did you even read this story?