Hate Crimes? ‘Muslim’ Arrested in Elderly Assaults

(CBS SF) A suspect has been arrested in a series of assaults against elderly victims in Oakland’s Chinatown, new Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong announced Monday.

The suspect was identified as Yahya Muslim, 28. He was charged with assault, battery, elder abuse and a special allegation of offenses while out on bail, according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said Muslim also has two prior felony assault convictions.

Just minutes after being sworn in as Oakland’s new top cop, Armstrong appeared at a news conference in Chinatown to announce the arrest of Muslim for the assault of a 91-year old man caught on video. He is also accused of assaulting two other elderly individuals the same day.

“Today we’re sending a message to those that commit crime in this city that we will pursue you and we will arrest you,” said Chief Armstrong. “We all need to band together to take a stand and say this violence is unacceptable.”

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said her office is investigating whether the attacks were racially motivated, which could add a hate crime to the charges…

Facing steep budget cuts, Oakland police say the department is devoting what resources it can including locating a mobile command vehicle in the shopping district.

But the community isn’t waiting for help. They’ve formed citizen patrols and a GoFundMe effort has raised more than $50,000 to employ armed security guards.

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