Warning: This video may be disturbing to some
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Shocking new video coming out of Oakland's Chinatown showing a 91-year-old man senselessly pushed to the ground has the community on high alert.
A warning -- the video taken at the corner of Harrison and 8th streets outside the Asian Resource Center is disturbing to watch.
Carl Chan, president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, says the neighborhood is under attack. As of Sunday night, he has collected more than 20 incident reports and videos of small businesses getting robbed and owners and customers assaulted.
One video shows women in an herbal shop as a suspect enters and snatches one woman's cash and runs off.
Chan held a press conference with some business owners and city leaders Wednesday to discuss solutions such as adding extra police patrols and cameras.
"They appear to be more violent, for whatever reason and that's why we need to stop this now," said Captain Bobby Hookfin with the Oakland Police Department. Hookfin says many cases go unreported by residents who fear retaliation.
"I want to start by apologizing to the victims of these heinous crimes," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who also went on to attack efforts by some on the Oakland City Council to cut the city's police budget by as much as 50 percent.
"I have not forgotten, that this last summer, they brought a proposal to cut $25 million from the Oakland police department as a political statement, not because of operational or financial need," said Schaaf. In contrast, Schaaf called $15 million in recent reductions at the hand of city administrator Ed Reiskin "surgical" to address immediate budget overruns like overtime.
Still, Chinatown leaders like Chan want the city to immediately reinstate walking patrols and renew its pledge to install a new surveillance camera system in the neighborhood.
However, all the police could promise, given the recent cutbacks, were "more resources," without specifying exactly what that means.
Oakland police are gathering information about this latest incident.
In a press release, OPD says the man who was pushed is 91-years-old and that after he was attacked, the suspect involved didn't stop there.
"The suspect then approached a 60-year-old man and 55-year-old woman from behind that were also walking in the 800 block of Harrison Street," police said. "The suspect pushed both victims to the ground, resulting in the woman losing consciousness. The man also suffered injury. Both victims were treated at a local hospital for their injuries."
Oakland resident Jacob Azevedo is taking matters into his own hands, in terms of supporting the city's elderly in the midst of these attacks. He created a GoFundMe with all the proceeds going toward purchasing hand-held alarms to distribute to these vulnerable populations.
"Help us make our elderly community here in Oakland feel a little safer to walk down the street!!" Jacob said on the post.
"I got fed up seeing all these videos surfacing against the Asian American community here," says Jacob who himself is Latino but grew up in the Central Valley area and has close friends who are Asian.
So he put out a call out on his own Instagram offering to accompany anybody in Chinatown while going to the store, a restaurant, or running errands. The response? Nearly 3,000 likes and hundreds of offers to help.
"It's been super overwhelming," says Jacob.
Thursday, Jacob teamed up with the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to be introduced to business owners. One owner of a market along 10th Street eager for his assistance which will start this weekend.
"Thank you!" the owner beams. Jacob plans to drop off fliers and spread the word by mouth of his efforts and is making a call for others to join in by contacting him at CompassionInOakland@gmail.com
While a new Oakland Police command post was set up in Chinatown, the Chamber believes there is still work to be done. As they ask for more resources, they take comfort knowing some people are already taking action.
"Sometimes all it takes is the presence of another body to deter someone from doing something they're not supposed to be doing."
Jacob's first day of volunteering to accompany neighbors starts this coming weekend.