Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
An elderly Filipino American was reportedly the victim of violent carjacking in Oakland, California earlier this month.
The 65-year-old nameless victim was reportedly attacked at gunpoint and stolen outside an Oakland Food Maxx grocery store on Thursday, April 8th NBC Bay Area.
The victim’s niece, Sara Guillermo, said he worked as a driver for Lyft and relied on his car as the only source of income, which is why he fought for his vehicle.
“He was hit over the head with a gun and tried to stop him from taking his car. So he used his body to prevent getting into the vehicle and the person started his car and dragged his body into the parking lot, ”she told NBC Bay Area.
Guillermo also claimed the attack was motivated by racism.
“While they were trying to steal his car, they thought he was Chinese, so they talked about COVID and being an Asian American in America,” she said.
The victim was taken to Highland Hospital, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
According to Guillermo, her uncle is afraid that his attacker might return for him.
“He’s scared. This was just a few blocks from her home and we don’t want to create friction with what’s already happening in the community,” she told NBC Bay Area.
Stop AAPI hatred, a national coalition prosecuting anti-Asian American discrimination, reported that it received from March 19, 2020 through February 28, 2021 3,795 first-hand incidents of racism and discrimination from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as reported in the Asian Journal.
Of these, 503 incidents occurred in the first two months of 2021 alone.
Guillermo and her family have reached out on social media asking for help from the public in finding the stolen vehicle.
Anyone seeing a white Toyota Corolla with a California license plate “8GMA097” is encouraged to call the Oakland Police Department at (510) 777-8572 or an anonymous number at (510) 238-7950.