11-Year-Old Won’t Face Charges For Beating Elderly Asian Woman With Gang Of Teens In San Francisco
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) won’t charge an 11-year-old boy for his role in a group assault and robbery of a 70-year-old Asian woman due to his age.

The three other suspects in the assault and robbery were two juvenile girls, ages 13 and 14, and an 18-year-old male named Darryl Moore.

Police announced that they couldn’t press charges during a Monday press conference. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins insisted that the community needed to do more to prevent juvenile crimes.

“I think a greater dialogue and discussion has to begin when we are seeing our children involved in these types of crimes,” said Jenkins, according to KTVU. “I think it sends a message to us all that we need to do more as a community in San Francisco, more broadly, to discuss how we got to this point.”

In 2018, California prevented most children under 12 years old from entering the juvenile court system through Senate Bill 439 (SB-439), excluding those children who murder, rape, or sexually assault their victims. The law requires law enforcement to return children under 12 who commit any other crimes to their families or caregivers.

Former Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed the bill into law. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Children’s Defense Fund of California, National Center for Youth Law, W. Haywood Burns Institute, Youth Justice Coalition of Los Angeles, and Anti-Recidivism Coalition cosponsored the bill.

During Monday’s press conference, SFPD Chief Bill Scott called the juveniles’ involvement in the assault and robbery “really, really sad.” Jenkins echoed that sentiment shortly after. She noted in a tweet that the city needed to ensure appropriate consequences for crimes of that nature.

Jenkins replaced a progressive predecessor, Chesa Boudin, who was recalled earlier in June. Since taking office, Jenkins has focused on undoing Boudin’s work. Most recently, this included ending referrals to the city’s restorative justice program — which offers offenders an alternative to incarceration — revoking over 30 plea deals given to drug dealers by Boudin, restructuring the district attorney’s office by firing and demoting Boudin’s staffers — which prompted the assistant district attorney to quit — and removing the prosecuting attorney in a controversial officer-involved shooting case.

Boudin announced earlier this month that he wouldn’t seek re-election. Crime rates surged under his tenure.

Moore and the two juvenile girls face charges of robbery, elder abuse, burglary, false imprisonment, and conspiracy.

The assault of the 70-year-old San Francisco woman, identified by local media only as “Mrs. Ren,” occurred on July 31 inside the lobby of a building. The teens hit and kicked Ren in the head and various parts of her body multiple times, taking her iPhone and keys. Ren sustained non-life-threatening injuries that warranted a hospital trip.

During Monday’s press conference, Jenkins said that there will be an investigation to determine whether a hate crime occurred.

“With regard to hate crimes, they do require proof of motive,” said Jenkins. “That oftentimes requires an expression from an assailant or some investigation into past history.”

Moore, along with the 11-year-old and the 13-year-old, weren’t apprehended until last Wednesday, when they were arrested for an unrelated crime about an hour away in Milpitas, California. The 14-year-old remains at large as of press time.

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