SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- As San Leandro Police discover attacks toward Asian Americans have spiked nearly 300% since 2020, new video of a recent assault and robbery of an 80-year-old Asian man is prompting residents in one neighborhood to speak out.
What is perhaps even more distressing than watching surveillance video the senior get knocked to the ground by two teens on Saturday, is hearing his calls for help and the high-pitched giggles coming from another teen, presumed to be in the getaway car nearby.
Police say the suspects involved are as young as 16.
"It's crazy to see kids that age doing that kind of stuff going down that road already," says the man who recorded the video from him home and only wants to be referred to as "Marcos" out of safety.
Like much of the Bay Area, San Leandro is no stranger to attacks on Asian Americas.
From a woman placing hate-filled letters on resident's doors demanding Asians leave the country immediately back in May of 2020, to a brazen daytime robbery outside a Bank of America where an older Asian man was knocked to the ground and unable to get up.
Lt. Ali Khan of San Leandro Police says they were shocked when the chief received the results of a victim demographic study. "We were equally as shocked. From 2019 to 2020 we saw an almost 300% increase in crimes towards our Asian and Pacific Islander community members."
While police can't say for certain how many incidents are hate crimes or were race-motivated Lt. Khan says the numbers don't lie. In response, the department has boosted patrol numbers and is working with the DA on finding solutions to the challenges of dealing with minors who are released only to re-offend.
Lt. Khan recalled a recent string of incidents several weeks ago where a rash of carjackings and burglaries committed by juveniles. That brought up any questions on how to solve the problem.
"Other than putting juveniles in jail what other avenues can we have to maybe divert some of the things that are happening?"
As for the man who captured this latest attack on his family's security camera, he wants only one thing for those who try to disrupt his otherwise quiet community.
"More consequences. Because it seems to be ongoing... It's really the best thing that can happen to they can learn."
The 80-year old victim from Saturday's attack was robbed of a watch and sustained minor injuries. He believes the crime was hate-motivated. Police say because the victim called out for help the suspects took off. However, a similar vehicle was seen in a strong-armed robbery in San Leandro less than two hours later. The victim in that incident is described as a younger woman who was robbed of her purse.
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