SF DA announces charges against man who attacked elderly Asian American woman

(KRON) — An Oakland man was charged on Tuesday after an unprovoked attack on an elderly Asian American woman on Friday, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced.

James Lee Ramsey, 27, of Oakland allegedly attacked an 88-year-old woman on Ellis Street around 11:16 a.m. Ramsey allegedly kicked the woman and spat on another victim. A witness nearby saw the incident and detained Ramsey until police arrived.

He was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department, and he could face 10 years in state prison if convicted. His charges include felony elder abuse, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and battery causing serious bodily injury. Ramsey also faces misdemeanor counts of battery as well as vandalism.

This isn’t the first time Ramsey has been accused of assaulting an Asian American person. He was charged in May 2021 for an assault and a hate crime following an attack on a local Asian American leader, however, the hate crime charges were dropped several months later.

“The crimes that Mr. Ramsey is accused of are horrific,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “I am grateful to the witness who was able to detain him until police arrived ensuring that he did not flee. My office, on behalf of the victims, and every San Franciscan who is fed up with brazen violence like this, will stand for justice and seek to hold him accountable for his crimes.”

Mayor London Breed also spoke out about the crime. She posted her message to X, formally known as Twitter.

“Attacks against anyone in our city is unacceptable, but especially when it comes to our seniors. Thank you SFPD for the quick arrest, and thank you Brooke Jenkins for bringing charges and sending a clear message about accountability,” Breed wrote.

Ramsey will face arraignment Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors are planning to request pre-trial detention for him because they believe he poses a public safety risk.

The DA’s office says the investigation into Ramsey is still active. Anyone with more information about the incident is asked to call 415-575-4444.

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