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A 75-year-old Asian American man was robbed, shoved on his daily walk. He’s ‘seriously hurt,’ advocates say.

The Oakland Police Department arrested a suspect on Tuesday in connection with the robbery and assault of a 75-year-old Asian American man earlier that day. (Image from KPIX)

A 75-year-old Asian American man was strolling through a residential neighborhood in Oakland early Tuesday when a suspect shoved him to the ground and robbed him, a representative from Oakland’s Chinatown community said.

The senior, whom police have not identified, was seriously injured, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President Carl Chan, who has been in contact with the man’s family, told The Washington Post.

Late on Tuesday, Oakland police arrested an unnamed suspect in connection with the incident, the department confirmed to The Post. Police described the incident as a “violent attack.” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) said authorities would investigate whether the crime was “racially motivated.”

“I am saddened to hear of yet another violent attack on the elders of our community,” Oakland Police Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong said in a statement. “The trauma this causes has a ripple effect, on the victim, their family, and the entire community.”

The case is the latest in a string of racist attacks and harassment against Asian American seniors in the Bay Area, some of which have turned fatal. Last month, an 84-year-old Thai man died days after he was violently shoved to the ground during his morning walk. Earlier this year, at least three Asian American seniors walking through Oakland’s Chinatown were assaulted.

The attacks, many activists say, are tied to anti-Asian sentiment stoked by former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric blaming China for the pandemic and erroneously referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus.”

Three Asian American medical providers on the front lines spoke with The Post about the racial discrimination they faced early in the pandemic. (Video: Allie Caren/The Washington Post)

Covid fueled anti-Asian racism. Now elderly Asian Americans are being attacked.

“I’m not angry,” Chan told The Post. “I’m sad. I’m so sad by all of these incidents. Our own seniors in Chinatown, they call me and they say they are afraid to go out and walk on their own streets. That’s pretty sad in the middle of a pandemic. Remember many of their own children and grandchildren are not able to visit them.”

The latest incident took place just before 7 a.m. on Tuesday when the 75-year-old man was walking through Adams Point, a neighborhood less than two miles from downtown Oakland, police said. He argued with the assailant, police said, before the suspect assaulted and robbed him.

Florence Williams, a neighbor who saw paramedics loading the man into an ambulance, told KPIX the senior is known for taking early morning walks in the area.

“They brought him around, then I said, ‘That’s the guy that walks up and down the street,' ” Williams told the local station. “Every morning, he walks around that time or a little earlier.”

He was later taken to a nearby hospital, police said. “The victim is seriously hurt,” Chan told The Post. “It is not looking too good.”

Schaaf called the incident a “reprehensible” and “violent attack.”

“Our police will investigate thoroughly to determine whether this was racially motivated or a vile crime of opportunity,” Schaaf said in a statement shared with The Post. “Every act of violence traumatizes our community, and I pray for healing to the victim and his family.”

Although authorities have yet to confirm a motive, Chan said he fears the worst given the recent surge of attacks on Asian Americans.

“If we did not have all these incidents it would just be a robbery,” Chan told The Post. “People may think this is just happening. These kinds of attacks have been going on for some years now and it got worse.”

The Oakland Police Department is offering up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information that advances the case.

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