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Former San Francisco commissioner Greg Chew unhappy with charges brought against his alleged attacker

SF Gate logo SF Gate 8/11/2022 Alec Regimbal, SFGATE
Brooke Jenkins addresses a news conference at City Hall, Thursday, July 7, 2022, in San Francisco. A former San Francisco commissioner is unhappy with the charges facing the man who allegedly attacked him. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP) © Santiago Mejia, AP

Brooke Jenkins addresses a news conference at City Hall, Thursday, July 7, 2022, in San Francisco. A former San Francisco commissioner is unhappy with the charges facing the man who allegedly attacked him. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office said Wednesday that the man who allegedly attacked former San Francisco commissioner Greg Chew will face felony assault and battery charges, but Chew says the man should face hate crime charges as well. 

Authorities say 34-year-old Derrick Yearby is the person who assaulted Chew while he was walking to his home in the city's SoMa neighborhood on the evening of Aug. 2. The attack left Chew, who is 70 years-old, with a broken clavicle and minor injuries to his face, according to the DA's Office.

Yearby was charged with felony assault and battery, as well as felony elder abuse. Chew, who is Asian American, told the San Francisco Standard that he believes the attack was racially motivated and wants District Attorney Brooke Jenkins to charge Yearby with a hate crime. 

"Why did he come beat me, break my face, break my shoulder?” Chew said, according to The Standard. “Did he pick me up because I am Asian, Chinese, and old?”

The attack on Chew is the second time in less than two weeks that an elderly Asian has been assaulted in public in San Francisco. On July 31, a 70-year-old Asian woman was brutally beaten by multiple assailants as she entered her apartment complex in the 100 block of San Francisco Street. The two incidents prompted a rally on Sunday, where activists with the city's Asian and Pacific Islander community called for justice for elderly victims. 

During the Chesa Boudin recall campaign, Jenkins said Boudin was failing to hold people who assault Asian Americans accountable.

In response to Chew's comments, Jenkins spokesperson Randy Quezada told SFGATE that while "the attack is reprehensible," "evidence, in this case, does not indicate a specific motive for the attack as required by the hate crime statute" — at least for now.

"This is an active investigation and if we discover additional evidence that supports a hate crime charge or additional charges the District Attorney’s Office will file them accordingly," he said.

Quezada also said the DA's office is seeking to keep Yearby in custody before his trial — which, if successful, means Yearby cannot be released on bail. Yearby is expected to make another court appearance on Friday. 

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