By Louis Chan, AsAmNews Staff writer
AsAmNews has learned police in the Southern California city of Rialto in San Bernardino County are investigating an attack on a 62-year old Korean man as felony elder abuse.
The victim who has not been publicly identified is described by police as having some abrasions and a small laceration across the bridge of his nose.
“He was resting at home,” said Captain Anthony Vega to AsAmNews. Vega said he paid a personal visit to the victim at his home. “He was able to maneuver and walk and speak to me. But he had trauma to his face. Which is unfortunate.”
Vega says at this time no motive for the attack has been determined despite a social media post from the victim’s granddaughter who blamed the incident on backlash due to coronavirus.
Vega also said his department reinterviewed the victim with the help of a bilingual sheriff investigator from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Vega told AsAmNews initial information he based on a translation provided by the victim’s granddaughter that a bus drove off with the suspect was incorrect.
“There was never a bus there. There was never a comment made by the suspect who pushed the elderly gentleman. All this was misinformation,” he told AsAmNews.
Authorities now say a suspect came from behind and shoved the victim to the ground.
“When he hit the ground, he hit the cement side walk,” said Vega. “While on the ground, he looked up. He saw suspect wearing white pants, and a black sweater or hooded jacket running westbound from the location.”
The daughter has since issued another social media post requesting that people “stop hating each other.”
“Many people are turning this into Asian vs Black and it’s not what this is. I meant to post this to inform people racism happens everywhere. The bus, the grocery store everywhere. I stand with BLM. Everyone please stop sending hate to each other,” she tweeted.
Vega says he doesn’t know why the initial translation may have been wrong, but did acknowledge that a language barrier may have been a factor.
At this time, no video of the incident has surfaced. Authorities are waiting to hear back from one more location.
“This crime is a felony,” he emphasized. “We have nothing to support this as a hate crime. We’re investigating this as an elder abuse crime. If we’re able to make an arrest, we will access the facts and determine or not if there was a hate crime committed or not.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact detective Anthony Glass at 909-820-8080.
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