Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a disturbing attack on a 91-year-old Asian-American man in Oakland’s Chinatown, shortly before police announced a person of interest was in custody.
The elderly victim was walking down a sidewalk in broad daylight on Jan. 31 when a man ran up and shoved him from behind, sending him sprawling, as seen in troubling footage obtained by ABC-7 News.
The victim was injured and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, while the suspect allegedly went on to assault a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman on the same block. These additional victims were also shoved to the ground and required medical aid, the 55-year-old having lost consciousness, according to a Thursday media release by the Oakland Police Department.
The release asked the public for help in identifying a suspect – and the same day, Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu announced they were offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the attacker’s “arrest and conviction.”
“The number of hate crimes against Asian Americans continues to skyrocket, despite our repeated pleas for help. The crimes are too often ignored and even excused,” Daniel Dae Kim wrote on Instagram.
Two days after Kim and Wu's offer, police announced Saturday that they’d identified a “person of interest" in the case, crediting community support as “instrumental” in helping identify him. The person of interest was already in police custody following a Feb. 1 arrest in a separate case, police said in an updated media release.
“Even though we are confident with our focus on this person of interest we encourage community members to remain vigilant at all times,” police wrote in the release.
Oakland’s Chinatown Chamber of Commerce has documented more than 20 attacks in recent weeks as the neighborhood prepares to celebrate Lunar New Year on Friday, local station KNTV reports. Many incidents have been violent and brazen, including a man in an herb shop who allegedly stole money out of a customer’s hand and a trio of women who allegedly tried to steal multiple orange trees from a Chinese gift shop before driving away.
Local business owners and community members have started patrolling the streets, carrying alarms and cans of pepper spray, local station KPIX-TV reports. They plan to continue patrols for the next three weeks.
Community leaders, meanwhile, have bemoaned reduced police budgets as some residents call for more law enforcement in Chinatown.
“The intentional targeting of Asian merchants and residents is abhorrent and we will do everything within our power and resources to put an end to it,” Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf told KNTV.
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