Man Charged After Series of Attacks on Elderly People in Oakland's Chinatown District

An arrest has been made in connection to a series of attacks on the elderly in Oakland, California.

Yahya Muslim, 28, was charged with three counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and one count of elder or dependent adult abuse on Monday, according to charging documents obtained by PEOPLE.

Muslim was booked into the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, on Feb. 1, online jail records show, on charges unrelated to the Jan. 31 attacks. His bail is set to $85,000. It was not clear if he has legal representation at this time.

Actor Daniel Wu, who along with Daniel Dae Kim offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to a suspect in the Jan. 31 assaults, spoke at a press conference Monday about the rise in attacks against Asians in the U.S. over the past year.

"Racist rhetoric from the pandemic have targeted us as being the reason for coronavirus," Wu said, according to ABC News. "And so, Asians across the board have been targeted, being pushed, attacked, spat on. Outside of San Francisco, in Los Angeles and in New York, these incidents are happening all over the country."

On Jan. 31, three elderly people were attacked in Oakland's Chinatown District, including a 91-year-old man who "suffered lacerations, abrasions and a contusion to the left thumb," a probable cause for arrest warrant obtained by PEOPLE said. The attack of the man went viral online and was cited by both Kim and Wu in Instagram posts last week.

The other two victims included a 60-year-old man and 55-year-old woman, Oakland police previously said.

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"We recognize some in our community come to Chinatown to target people. We know they target our elderly. They come because they believe our community won't report it to police," said Oakland police chief LeRonne Armstrong at Monday's press conference.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said at the press conference that a special response unit has been created to focus on crimes against Asians, CNN reported.

The "rapid increase in criminal acts targeted against members of the Asian community, particularly Chinese Americans, who live and work in Alameda County is intolerable," O'Malley said.

"We are excited we have already transitioned into new strategies to make Chinatown a safer community," Armstrong said. "We're sending a message to those that commit crime in this city that we will pursue you and we will arrest you and it's not acceptable for things like this to happen in our community."

About 31 percent of Asian Americans said they have been subjected to discrimination since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a Pew Research Center report released last July.

Acknowledging the problem, President Joe Biden last month issued an executive memorandum calling for sensitivity in language used for COVID-19 guidance by the Department of Health and Human Services, CNN reported.

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