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2 Asian seniors attacked in San Francisco, weeks after a fatal shoving

Three shoving incidents involving Asian seniors have been reported in the past month. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Weeks after a 63-year-old Chinese American woman in San Francisco died in a fatal shoving, two Asian seniors have reportedly been attacked.

Wind Newspaper, which publishes in English and Chinese, first reported the two incidents, each of which involved a woman in her mid-to-late 80s.

According to the San Francisco Police Department, an 86-year-old woman was pushed to the ground in an unprovoked attack in the Tenderloin on July 10. She suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital.

Wind stated that the unnamed victim is a senior housing resident in the area, and she had a broken hip because of the attack. The suspect listed was described as a white man around 30 years of age, and no arrest has been made.

Another incident occurred on the morning of July 21, when SFPD officers came upon an injured woman in the Union Square area who was later transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Wind said that victim, an 88-year-old, was “kicked and thrown to the ground,” suffering massive internal bleeding.

A witness helped detain the adult male suspect until the officers arrived. Charges in the case have been filed as of Tuesday morning, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The suspect was named as James Lee Ramsey, 27, of Oakland on Monday.

Ramsey is charged on suspicion of committing several crimes, including felony elder abuse, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and battery causing serious bodily injury, as well as misdemeanor battery against a second victim and misdemeanor vandalism.

He is scheduled for arraignment in court at 1:30 p.m. at the Hall of Justice, with prosecutors planning to seek pre-trial detention, alleging a public safety risk.  If convicted of all charges, he faces more than 10 years in state prison.

“The crimes that Mr. Ramsey is accused of are horrific. I am grateful to the witness who was able to detain him until police arrived ensuring that he did not flee,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement.

The two attacks, just days apart, happened shortly after 63-year-old Yanfang Wu died from injuries sustained when she hit her head on the ground after being shoved earlier this month. However, Wu’s case has initially been ruled an accident.

Since the pandemic, multiple high-profile attacks on Asian elders in San Francisco have sparked the national Stop Asian Hate movement. Victims include the 84-year-old Thai American man “Grandpa Vicha” and another 84-year-old Chinese elder, Rong Xin Liao.

The latest crime data from SFPD show that while 11% of assault victims citywide are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, some 25% of the elder abuse victims are AAPI, the highest among all the racial groups.

The San Francisco Police Department did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with a comment from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office as of Tuesday morning.

Han Li can be reached at