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Update: Suspect Arrested In Latest Oakland Attack On Elderly Asian Man Identified

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- A suspect in yet another unprovoked attack on an elderly Asian man in Oakland has been arrested and identified by a police source, authorities said Thursday.

The incident happened Tuesday at around 8:30 a.m. on the 400 block of 7th St. near Broadway.

A police source told KPIX 5 when the 76-year-old victim was approached by a stranger, he said "Good morning" to the man who replied, "You better calm down."

The man then punched the victim and fled, leaving the victim with minor injuries. The unidentified victim told KPIX 5 he is very rattled by the incident.

A police source has identified the suspect as 39-year-old John Lawrence. The source said Lawrence was arrested Wednesday night at about 7:35 p.m. for elder abuse in connection with the Tuesday incident. He also had a warrant for other physical assaults.

The district attorney should be adding other in the days to come, the police source told KPIX. The source said Lawrence provided a confession. He is set to appear in court on the latest assault charge Friday morning at 9 a.m.

Lawrence is being held at Santa Rita Jail on $50,000 bail.

In a Twitter post, Oakland police said a suspect in the attack was arrested on Wednesday and the case would be presented to the district attorney's office for review and charging.

More information on the arrest and the suspect was to be released later, police said.

The attack is among a wave of attacks on Asians in the Bay Area and nationwide. Some of the recent attacks have been deadly, including the killing of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee in the city's Anza Vista neighborhood in late January, while another assault left 75-year-old Pak Ho dead in Oakland last week.

On Monday, a suspect has been arrested for two unprovoked attacks in San Francisco in which one victim was stabbed in the face and the other brutally beaten and nearly blinded in one eye.

On Wednesday, a 75-year-old Chinese woman fought back against an assailant on Market St. in San Francisco leaving him bloodied and sending him to the hospital.

The ongoing violence has sparked rallies throughout the Bay Area condemning anti-Asian violence and more than $1.4 million in state funding to track and stop the attacks.

The group Stop AAPI Hate said over the past year there have been nearly 4,000 hate incidents against Asians across the U.S., and that the reports are a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur.

Meanwhile a new study released Thurday by UCSF researchers found a tweet by former President Donald Trump in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic which referred to the "Chinese virus" has been attributed to a precipitous rise in anti-Asian hashtags on the social media platform.

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