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San Francisco Police Announce Arrest In Racially Charged Bayview Recycling Robbery

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott announced Thursday that officers have made an arrest in the recent robbery of an older Asian man of recycling he had collected in Bayview-Hunters Point.

The chief made the announcement at rally for peace and unity happening at the same housing project on Osceola Lane where the incident took place over the weekend.

SF robbery suspect Dwayne Grayson
SF robbery suspect Dwayne Grayson (SFPD)

The suspect, identified as 20-year-old Dwayne Grayson, is facing charges including robbery, hate crime and elder abuse. Grayson was arrested in front of his residence on the 100 block of Kirkwood Avenue at approximately 8:15 Thursday.

Grayson was booked at Bayview Police Station. In addition to the charges of robbery and elder abuse with a hate crime enhancement, Grayson faces a probation violation for a prior robbery conviction.

Grayson was also determined to be the individual who recorded and posted video of the incident on social media.

"What we saw on that video was horrific. Make no mistake about it," Chief Scott said. "We heard from people all over the country, not just San Francisco."

Scott also said investigators are still searching for a second suspect in the case.

Video of the incident was posted on social media Sunday evening. The clip showed an older Asian man being taunted — and later threatened and attacked — by at least two African-American men after they appear to have taken his shopping cart laden with garbage bags full of aluminum cans.

The confrontation, which happened in front of a crowd of onlookers outside the housing project, turned uglier as one of the men loudly proclaimed "I hate Asians!" and mocked the victim over the loss of his cans.

Police learned the identity of the victim on Wednesday with the help of community members. KPIX 5 has decided not to reveal his name.

The victim a man in his 70s originally from Kaiping in the Guangdong province of China, according to Tommy Wong of the Community Youth Center of San Francisco (CYCSF). The CYCSF is representing the victim and helping him navigate the process of reporting the crime to SFPD and offering him other assistance, Wong told KPIX.

Wong says the victim wanted to make it clear that they were several friendly people in that neighborhood, some of whom actually gave him their cans. It was only a few people who surrounded him and roughed him.

He is nonplussed by the experience. Wong says he found the victim Wednesday morning when the gentleman was back at it, out on the streets of Bayview-Hunters Point collecting cans.

So far, the victim has refused any help. Wong says the man is proud and does not want donations. Although he may be eligible for state or federal aid, he says the victim refused to fill out any paperwork for any government benefits.

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