After elderly man assaulted while collecting recyclables, police investigate


A video showing an elderly man being assaulted and taunted while collecting recyclables on a San Francisco street has prompted a police investigation, authorities said Monday.

The San Francisco Police Department wrote in a tweet that investigators are seeking the public’s help in identifying the victim and anyone who witnessed the attack, which they suspect occurred in the Bayview neighborhood.

The video, which was posted on social media over the weekend and quickly went viral, shows a confrontation between a man holding a long metal object and another, Asian man who was apparently collecting recyclables.


At one point, the video shows the man striking the victim in the head with the metal pole. Several people standing in the parking lot recorded the incident, and at least one person can be heard taunting the victim, using expletives and yelling at him to “go get your ... cans.”

A person who is not seen in the video later says, “I hate Asians,” and mimics the crying man, the video shows.

Police told the Associated Press that it was too early to label the incident a hate crime. Investigators could not immediately be reached Tuesday for further comment.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed called the actions in the video “shameful” and “not reflective of the San Francisco we can and should be.”

“Violence, bullying and harassment are unacceptable and have no place in our city,” she wrote. “We need to work to bring our communities together, not sow hatred and division.”