OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A suspect is now facing charges in connection with an attack on a 91-year-old in Oakland's Chinatown. As this happens, community members are stepping up and some have a strong message.
Volunteers like Jimmy Bounphengsy and Kelley Mea could be seen walking the streets of Oakland Monday night - Specifically, Oakland's Chinatown and the outlying streets after at least three vicious attacks on seniors. Their message is a simple one.
"We out here trying to protect and I don't want nobody coming over here with a bad intention and try to hurt somebody! We're not about that!" says Jimmy Bounphengsy of San Jose. His friend Kelley Mea walked with him and continued that statement saying, "We here to make sure nobody is getting robbed!"
Monday the Alameda District Attorney announced three assault charges against Yahya Muslim, the guy suspected of violently pushing this 91-year-old man to the ground. New Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong came out swinging Monday as well, addressing the community on the same day he was sworn in.
"We know they target our elderly. They come because they believe our community won't report it to police. We are excited we have already transitioned into new strategies to make Chinatown a safer community," says Chief Armstrong.
The new Oakland police chief is promising that additional resources will be available to residents reporting crimes.
Monday evening a virtual meeting was held to talk about safety in the Chinatown Community. Already several groups like have stepped up and vowed to keep a better eye on the area, help citizens, and donate money.
"As far as I know there will be at least eight groups already," says Carl Chan who is the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President.
Two Asian American actors have spotlighted the current struggle for Asians here in the Bay and beyond. Daniel Wu spoke Monday afternoon in Oakland.
"Racist rhetoric from the pandemic have targeted us as being the reason for coronavirus. And so Asians across-the-board have been targeted, being pushed, attacked, spat on," says Wu.
Bounphengsy says his family came from Laos and he will no longer stand by and watch the violence happen without doing anything.
"It's important to me because I think we should all unite as one and stop the violence I don't know what's going on I can't allow that to happen under my watch," says Bounphengsy.