Daly City officials are appalled at the recent, violent assault of an elderly 84-year old Asian San Francisco resident, Vicha Ratanapakdee, by 19-year old Daly City resident, Antoine Watson. Mr. Ratanapakdee later died from his injuries. The attack was captured on security camera footage that has since been widely viewed around the world.
“The Asian American community is reeling from this attack and many others during the pandemic. We have zero tolerance for racism, xenophobia and violence in Daly City. The fact that this attack was committed against one of our Asian community’s elders by a Daly City resident is shocking,” said Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo. “I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Ratanapakdee and to the entire Asian American community,” she added.
Daly City officials have been vocal in their condemnation of xenophobia, hate crimes and other violence against the Asian American community during the pandemic. The City Council of Daly City was the first in the Bay Area to adopt a Resolution to denounce stigmatization, hateful racism and xenophobia during the pandemic in April 2020, in response to the sharp increase in discrimination against Asian Americans and immigrants. In 2020, the City also re-launched the “Daly City Stands United Against Hate” campaign with hundreds of local businesses to display this message of tolerance on posters in storefront windows and entryways. Officials have regularly delivered anti-stigma messaging to the community throughout the pandemic.
“There have been many unprovoked attacks against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community fueled by political rhetoric and systemic racism. We take these incidents seriously and we commit to working in solidarity with existing local community and grassroots organizations by creating spaces for dialogue, restorative justice and healing,” said Vice Mayor Dr. Rod Daus-Magbual. “Daly City is one of the most diverse cities in the Bay Area and we must acknowledge that this incident should not lead to more violence, but create opportunities to unpack and understand the root causes of racism in our communities,” he added.
Recent attacks have struck a chord with Daly City officials, as more than half of the city’s population is foreign born and more than half is of Asian descent. The older adult population in Daly City is also a rapidly growing demographic, with more than 22% of the population currently over 60 years old.
Residents who witness or are victims of assaults, such as deliberate coughing, sneezing, physically threatening actions and physical violence, should report the incidents immediately by calling 9-1-1. For additional resources, please visit the “Stop AAPI Hate” website. These types of assaults against Asian Americans are hate crimes.