EXCLUSIVE: Former SF commissioner relieved for 'swift arrest' of attacker; suspect's images obtained

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Images obtained exclusively by ABC7 News show the suspect arrested in the brutal attack of longtime San Francisco city commissioner Greg Chew.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- New images obtained exclusively by ABC7 News show the suspect arrested in connection with last Tuesday's brutal attack of a former longtime San Francisco city commissioner. It's a case new San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins plans to take seriously, as calls for justice from the AAPI community intensify.

When I visited with Greg Chew Friday, he was in bad shape. His eye was purple and he wore a sling after losing the ability to move his left arm after the attack across the street from his 3rd and Folsom home.

"I got punched in the face, kicked, beaten," said Greg, still clad in his hospital gown several days after the attack.

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Sunday afternoon, SFPD informed me an arrest had been made. Officers from SFPD's Tenderloin station used surveillance video and images collected from nearby to locate and arrest 34-year-old Derrick Yearby.

When I checked in on Greg Monday, he was relieved.

"I was not expecting that. It was such a swift arrest, I was quite delighted it happened," he said via Zoom, wearing a bright shirt and donning his signature round glasses once again.

In response to Gregg's attack and the violent assault and robbery of 70-year-old Mrs. Ren at her North Beach housing complex just days prior, the AAPI community rallied Sunday in Washington Square Park, multiple community groups demanding action. Something new San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins acknowledged.

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"I want the AAPI community to know regardless if we can charge a hate crime, this is still a very violent, serious attack that will be treated as such," she said.

SFPD tells me Yearby doesn't have priors in the past 90 days, but his complete record will soon be sent to the D.A. Jenkins says factoring Yearby's priors into charging will be a priority.

"People want to see that's happening. They've been struggling for the past two and a half years. They haven't seen it. I want to be very transparent and very up front to show what we're doing so these types of attacks stop."

As Greg continues to heal, he hopes other victims will become vocal like he did and prompt more action from the criminal justice system.

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"It's an awakening for me, and an awakening for others who may have had these experiences in the past... you gotta speak out. It's pretty much a crisis."

Jenkins also told me that given the public's concern over cases like Greg's, she's working on forming a vulnerable victims unit which will specialize in cases involving hate crimes and elders. It's something the D.A.'s office has never had in the past.

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