A suspect wanted for an alleged racist attack involving three Asian American victims has been arrested.
According to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, Armando Sanchez Vazuquez, 30, now faces multiple felony charges and hate-crime enhancements as he yelled “Go back to China'' and other racial slurs while throwing a brick and a metal grate at the victims, including a 73-year-old.
The Standard has learned that the victims were not Chinese, but Korean, and they were not physically injured. The incident occurred on Monday in Dolores Park.
Amid a rise in anti-Asian incidents, the sentiment that Asians are explicitly targeted has become widespread, yet prosecutors have struggled to file hate-crime charges against alleged attackers. The criminal justice system has a high legal standard in proving the suspects’ criminal motives are based on the victims’ racial identity.
However, in this case, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the suspect’s verbal evidence is enough for prosecutors to pursue hate-crime charges.
“Those statements were made at the time of the assault, and it appears to be the motivation for that attack,” Jenkins said on Thursday at a press event with Chinese-language media reporters.
According to the SF Sheriff’s Office, Sanchez Vazuquez was booked on Monday afternoon and is currently in custody. Bail has been set for $51,500. He’s also charged in separate cases with vandalism behaviors.
The Standard has reached out to the San Francisco Police Department for comment.
Han Li can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org