Chesa Boudin Files 7 Felony Charges Against O’Sean Garcia in Racially Motivated Offenses

SF DA Chesa Boudin

By Paige Laver

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Tuesday the filing of seven felony charges against O’Sean Garcia, including hate crime allegations for a string of violent robberies and attempted robberies of Asian women that date back to March 2021.

The District Attorney’s office stated that the offenses were racially motivated, and Boudin will be pursuing Garcia’s detention.

Boudin stated “We do not tolerate hate or violence in San Francisco, and those who commit violence or target our AAPI community members will be held accountable. We condemn these crimes and we will continue to work to protect the AAPI community and keep everyone safe.”

“We know the pain that crimes like this can cause to the broader community; these attacks against Asian women occurred during a time when many in the AAPI community across the nation have felt especially vulnerable,” the DA added.

Boudin continued to insist he stands with the AAPI community in a desire to protect and make sure individuals who are causing harm are being held responsible for their actions.

The DA is charging Garcia with robbery in the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another on Sept. 21 with a hate crime allegation, robbery in the felonious taking of personal property in possession of another on March 13 with hate crime allegation, attempted robbery on March 13 with a hate crime allegation, attempted robbery on March 13 with a hate crime allegation, robbery on March 20 with a hate crime allegation, attempted robbery on Aug. 5 with a hate crime allegation and robbery on Aug. 5 with a hate crime allegation.

These crimes occurred as seven separate incidents between March and September of 2021, where each victim was an Asian woman, and many of which were monolingual Cantonese speakers. In March alone it was alleged that Garcia committed three separate robberies.

One of the victims was a 40-year-old Cantonese- speaking Asian woman, who was outside her home around 7:30 p.m. when a suspect grabbed her backpack and pulled her to the ground to take it, while another suspect helped remove it.

The next crime occurred when an 18-year-old Asian victim is alleged to have suffered an attempted robbery around 8:30 p.m., while the woman was walking home. A man ran up and tried to take her bag; the victim pepper sprayed the man in his face, causing the man to release the bag and run away.

The third alleged victim, a 29-year-old Asian woman, experienced an attempted robbery around 9 p.m. when a suspect demanded she give him her bag, and then tried to grab her backpack. The suspect gave up as she held onto her bag tightly.

All of these robberies involved a red sedan that was linked to Garcia, who remains in custody and is being held without bail, according to jail records.

Again in March, it is alleged that a victim, a 52-year-old, monolingual Cantonese-speaking Asian woman, was walking around at 5:45 p.m. when two males grabbed her purse as she held on tightly. She was pushed to the ground and dragged before the men got her purse and left in a car.

In August, Garcia is alleged to have committed two robberies occurring 10 minutes apart from each other.

In the first one, around 10:20 a.m., the victim was a 36-year-old Asian monolingual Cantonese speaker, who was on her driveway when she felt her backpack grabbed as she held onto the straps as she dropped to the ground screaming. Her mother came outside and shouted at the two suspects, and they  left in a car without successfully taking anything.

In the second incident around 10:30 a.m. that same day, a 61-year-old Asian Cantonese-speaking victim was returning home when she was approached from behind by a suspect grabbing her bag from her hands.

The most recent incident occurred on Sept. 21 around 5:55 p.m., when the 27 year-old Asian victim was robbed of her backpack as she was getting out of her car. The backpack contained multiple items including her laptop, which ultimately helped the police to track her device that located Garcia.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Keith Olsen

    I don’t understand why these robberies are being charged as hate crimes?  Because the victims happen to be Asian?  Did Garcia say things during the robberies that determined that they were based on hate?  Is something missing from this story?

    1. David Greenwald

      The way the penal code reads, they have to have affirmative evidence of racial motivations in order to charge with a hate crime. Prosecutors are usually loathe to disclose that material in advance of a prosecution.

      1. Keith Y Echols

        So I’m not up on all the legality of all this kind of stuff.  But here’s my question: what difference does it make what the motivation was?  Aside from the ability to stand trial; isn’t it simply a question of weather or not a crime has taken place?  Assault, vandalism, robbery….etc…  why does motivation make a difference?  We’re kind of veering into Thought Police territory.  What’s the point of figuring out if a crime is racially motivated and to determine if it makes some difference to the prosecution and sentencing?

        1. David Greenwald

          Let me try to answer the right question now…

          The general thinking on hate crimes is that a hate crime is not simply a crime against an individual, but it is a crime against a community. The way the law works if you can prove racial animus behind a crime, it acts as a sentence enhancement.

          For a long time, I agreed with that view – and I still think that hate crimes are in fact different from other types of crimes.

          But after all, if you vandalize a place with racial epithets it seems to be more than just a simple act of vandalism. Where I think it gets more gray is an assault – does it matter if I beat up a woman because I hate her versus hating her kind if there is no additional overt act? It’s one thing if you are beating up someone and calling them racial epithets versus simply beating them up.

          And then there is the remedy…

          The problem is that the solution is to simply enhance the sentencing for the crime. Since I don’t happen to believe that prison is an effective means to rectify such problems, adding hate crimes enhancements does not seem like a great approach anymore and I have come to oppose the use of hate crime enhancements.

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