Attack on San Francisco hotel manager charged as hate crime 

A heartless assault earlier this month on a 74-year-old Indian manager of a Mission district hotel is being charged as a hate crime, prosecutors said Monday.

Gary Calkins, 48, of San Francisco is facing three counts of false imprisonment of an elder, battery and dissuading a witness from testifying – along with hate-crime enhancements – in connection with a March 14 attack at the Norma Hotel at 2697 Mission St.

The incident unfolded when Calkins began yelling at the manager, who was cleaning on the second floor, Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai said. Prosecutors have not said why Calkins was angry at the victim. At one point he allegedly pointed his finger at the 74-year-old and said, “You Indian, go back to your country,” Talai said, citing court documents.

“The victim replied, ‘I am born American,’” Talai said.

Calkins then punched the victim on his lower lip, causing him to fall to the floor, prosecutors said. The victim said he was going to call police, but Calkins allegedly blocked his path, saying, “Don’t call police,” Talai said.

After the victim yelled for his daughter to call 911, he was pushed to the ground again, Talai said. A tenant then interrupted the fight, Talai said.

Calkins is being held on $240,000 bail. His arraignment has been repeatedly postponed due to an undisclosed medical reason, the Public Defender’s Office said.

Calkins is a career criminal, prosecutors said, with burglary convictions in 1985, 1990 and 2004.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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