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San Francisco police arrest man who filmed attack of elderly Asian man collecting recyclables

San Francisco Mayor London Breed condemned the attack on the unidentified man and said it was not indicative of the city as a whole
UPDATED FEB 28, 2020
(San Francisco Police Department)
(San Francisco Police Department)

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: San Francisco police said on Thursday, February 27, that they have arrested a man who recorded last week's attack on an older Asian man and posted it to social media. Dwayne Grayson, 20, is facing charges including robbery and elder abuse as well as a hate crime enhancement in Saturday’s attack on the 68-year-old man, police said. 

The disturbing video shows an elderly Asian man collecting cans being reduced to tears as he's mocked and assaulted in a San Francisco neighborhood.

The video, which was shot in the city's Bayview district, was first posted on Instagram but has since been taken down, though it has made its way to numerous other platforms and is garnering worldwide attention.

In it, a man is seen chasing the unidentified victim with what appears to be the latter's trash picker as he tried to retrieve several large bags of recycled goods that he had seemingly collected from the neighborhood.

"Man, hey, go get your cans, man," one person can be heard saying as he taunted the older man. "Go get your cans, man, don’t be scared!"

Another is taunting him and egging him to retaliate against his tormentor. "He just robbed your dumb ass," he says.

The victim is then hit on the head with the trash picker as he walked towards his assailant, with several onlookers jeering on. "They are his cans," says the man who is recording the incident. "Go get your s***." The man then says he wouldn't help the victim because he "hates Asians."

The video ends with a close-up shot of the victim's face, showing him distraught and crying over the assault. To rub salt on the wounds further, an onlooker shows him the footage of him crying on his phone while continuing to mock him.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed condemned those responsible and said the actions shown in the footage were "shameful" and not indicative of the city as a whole. "Violence, bullying and harassment are unacceptable and have no place in our city," she tweeted. "We need to work to bring our communities together, not sow hatred and division."

San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton, who represents the Bayview District, similarly slammed those responsible and vowed to continue efforts to implement programs to combat violence in neighborhoods. "Elder abuse is taking place," Walton said. "We're working on getting somebody intermittently who can work with our office to coordinate how to respond to and prevent and intervene in violence in our district as a whole."

San Francisco police confirmed that they had launched an investigation into the incident. "We would like to announce we have initiated an investigation into this matter and we are attempting to ID the victim and/or witnesses," they tweeted.

Anyone with information is advised to call the department's anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444.