Police Chief Bill Scott announced the arrest Thursday at a unity and healing rally held in response to the incident, which drew widespread condemnation and fed into ongoing fears of crime and violence, particularly in the Chinese community.
Dwayne Grayson, 20, was taken into custody Thursday morning in front of his home on Kirkwood Avenue on suspicion of robbery, hate crime, elder abuse and a probation violation, according to police. Grayson was the person who recorded the incident, which occurred Saturday around 5:30 p.m. on Osceola Lane, and posted it to social media, police said.
Investigators have identified a second suspect and are currently looking for them.
The video appeared to show an Asian senior, who has been identified as a 68-year-old man, being whacked over the head with a stick while he tried to get back his recycling cans. He suffered pain but no visible injuries, according to police.
One person can be heard in the video saying “I hate Asians n—.”
Scott called the video “horrific.”
“That video does not represent this city,” Scott said at the rally. “What you see here is what represents this city.”
A number of city and state officials attended the event Thursday on Osceola Lane, the scene of the incident, including Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton.
Walton said the victim had been identified and connected to community services. His office is working with the Human Rights Commission on events to bring the black and Asian communities together, as well as a community violence prevention plan for the district, he said.
“We call for community unity and solidarity at this time,” Walton said. “Because in San Francisco, we bring people together, we build bridges and we bridge the gaps that divide.”
Breed used the event to call for more resources and support for the African American community, but also to call on community members to come together to prevent violence.
“I can’t help but think about my grandmother and how I would never want anyone to treat my grandmother the way I saw an elderly person treated here,” Breed said. “We are better than that.”