Boy, 15, admits to Muni attack 

A 15-year-old boy caught on a Muni surveillance video hurling a woman off a platform in the Bayview has taken responsibility for the attack, police said Tuesday.

The unidentified boy has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and attempted robbery in connection to a March 22 incident caught on one of Muni’s security cameras. Prosecutors are also attempting to try him as an adult.

In the video, a teenager throws a 57-year-old Asian woman off of a 3-foot-high T-Third Muni platform and onto the street, while several youths watch. Other people who were at the stop eventually helped the woman get out of the street.

The boy has taken full responsibility for the crime. The other youths interviewed have denied they were part of the assault, according to Bayview Police Station Capt. Greg Suhr. The motive for the attack appears to be robbery.

“He tried to rob her and he didn’t get anything out of her pockets,” Suhr said. “So, he got mad and attacked her.”

The case is similar to a Jan. 24 incident in which an 83-year-old man was kicked and punched on another T-Third Muni platform. The victim, Huan Chen, died two months later.

And on March 27, a 39-year-old man told police he was attacked by five young men between the ages of 14 and 16 inside a streetcar at Third Street and Williams Avenue.

Police have not said whether they believe the incidents are connected, but each case has involved a group of juveniles.

Police are close to making an arrest in the attack on the 39-year-old, Suhr said. Muni has provided video of the attack and investigators are close to identifying the kids responsible.

But some are wondering why at least the one case hasn’t been charged as a hate crime. Marlene Tran, a neighborhood activist, said it’s hard to understand why it’s not seen as a racially motivated crime.

“The definition of hate crime says that you should be able to quote the person saying something that is racially motivated,” Tran said. “But what happens when you can’t understand what they’re saying?”

Chen’s death has inspired a movement among The City’s Asian community to address a perceived violence among different races.

A Facebook page started by a concerned citizen, Edward Hom, has picked up more than 2,500 followers, and a large vigil for Chen is planned for Thursday evening at Third and Palou streets.

Tran was quick to point out that despite the fact that the juveniles involved in the March 22 incident were all black, several blacks who were at the Muni stop rushed to help the woman out of the street.

“Unfortunately, it takes something like this to bring people together,” Tran said.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

 

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Brent Begin

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