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Two Asian men, ages 59 and 78, assaulted on street, police say motive unknown

Yellow police tape stretches across a distant scene and warns viewers not to cross its path
Two older Asian men were assaulted Wednesday in downtown San Francisco, but the motive is unclear, police said. | Source: Adobe Stock

San Francisco police said officers were investigating an incident in which a man got out of a car and attacked two Asian men on a downtown street Wednesday morning, seemingly without provocation.

Police said officers responded to a report of an assault at Post and Kearny streets at around 10:20 a.m. The two men, aged 59 and 78, and a witness told officers that a stranger had gotten out of a parked car and attacked them before getting back into the vehicle and driving away.

Video of the incident posted on X by KTVU shows a man getting out of a parked silver sedan before approaching one of the victims, pushing him and trying to kick and punch him. The man then turns around and briefly pursues the other man, knocking him to the ground and fleeing in his car.

Central Police Station captain Ja Han Kim told The Standard the victims were of Asian descent and worked nearby. He did not have information on the man's motive for attacking the pair, including whether the assault was racially motivated.

Hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have been a pressing issue locally in recent years and spiked during the pandemic. Such attacks in San Francisco jumped by 500% in 2021, when 60 reports of hate crimes against AAPI people were made, according to Police Chief Bill Scott.

Community advocates have said that older members of the Asian community are particularly vulnerable to home invasions, robberies and assaults.

Police said no serious injuries were reported and that they were investigating.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at