59-year-old Oakland assault victim dies

April 21, 2010 12:05:01 AM PDT
Two Oakland men could now be facing murder charges for a brutal attack that has shocked and galvanized local residents.

Oakland police say witnesses came forward after seeing surveillance video that captured the two teenage suspects right after the attack on a father and son, for no reason, Friday.

Police say they had been working around the clock to track the suspects down. The pair was facing felony assault charges until Tiansheng Yu's family decided to remove him from life support. Tiansheng Yu died in the hospital Tuesday.

Now, those suspects may face murder charges.

Tiansheng Yu had been on life support since Friday's attack, but his family decided to pull the plug when they realized they would not get the miracle they hoped for. Just hours later, his wife, Zhi Rui Wang, went public with a plea that this senseless violence never happen again.

"Even though my husband is gone, I'll be strong," she said.

Police say 18-year-old Lavonte Drummer turned himself in Monday evening at the urging of his pastor. Police later arrested 18-year-old Dominic Davis while he rode a bike in Berkeley. Drummer lives just blocks away from where the beating happened.

Both teens have juvenile criminal records for robbery and both may now face murder charges.

"We had numerous people call and give us information that lead up to the capture of these suspects," Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said Tuesday.

Police say the surveillance footage broadcast repeatedly since Friday's attack led to numerous tips in what investigators are calling a random and unprovoked attack.

Jin Yu and his father were shopping in Oakland's Uptown neighborhood Friday afternoon. As the father parked the car, one of the men punched the son as he stood on the street. When the father went to ask the men why, he too was beaten.

Politicians lined up in Chinatown Tuesday to denounce the attack. Hundreds of scared Chinatown residents also came forward. Many say the beating highlights racial tensions between Oakland's Asian and black communities.

"Since he didn't steal anything, I mean, to me it seems like it was a racial thing," said Oakland resident Darlene Lee.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley says her office will look into whether there will be additional hate crime enhancement charges.

"Certainly, that's what we're going to be looking at," she told ABC7. "Whether or not there is any evidence to indicate that they singled this young man out because he's Asian, or his father because he's Asian."

The two suspects remained in custody Tuesday evening at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Tiansheng Yu was a handyman and the family's primary breadwinner. His son Jin Yu was studying to be a doctor, but may no longer be able to continue his education. He is now recovering at home.


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