Older man brutally attacked, ambushed outdoors Oakland Grocery Retailer – NBC Bay Space
The Oakland Police Department is trying to determine whether a new attack on an elderly Filipino man was a hate crime.
Police said the 65-year-old victim was brutally assaulted and ambushed at gunpoint on Thursday afternoon outside an Oakland Food Maxx grocery store.
The attack not only cost him his car, it also sent him to the hospital and effectively got him off work.
“It really happens every day in our backyards,” said Sara Guillermo, the victim’s niece.
Guillermo doesn’t crush words when talking about crimes against the AAPI community. That’s not only because she runs a nonprofit that deals directly with activism, but also because she gets close to home.
Guillermo told NBC Bay Area that her other relatives were still too scared to speak. But Guillermo also said the words that led to the attack were racist.
“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.
Guillermo added that her uncle works as a driver for Lyft and relies on his car for his only source of income. She said he fought a fight to try to keep it.
“He was hit over the head with a gun and tried to stop him from taking his car. So he placed his body so that it stood in the way of getting into the vehicle and the person drove off in his car and dragged his body into the parking lot, ”she said.
That fight ended up the victim at Highland Hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The trauma goes deeper than the physical. The 65-year-old Alameda man also fears his attacker may return.
“This was just a few blocks from their home, so we’re not creating any friction with what’s already happening in the community,” said Guillermo.
NBC Bay Area reached out to FoodMaxx, who refused to comment. The police are also still trying to determine if this was a hate crime or simply an occasional crime and did not provide any other information.
Guillermo and her family have reached out on social media asking for help from the public in finding the stolen car.
Police say the suspect stole a white Toyota Corolla with a California license plate “8GMA097”. When the public sees the car, they will be asked to call the police.