by Anneli Rufus
Are Asian pedestrians being singled out as armed-robbery targets in the same way that Asian restaurants are being targeted? On December 20, at around 8:45 a.m., a 21-year-old Asian female student was walking through the UC Berkeley campus alongside Alumni House - just a one-minute stroll below Sproul Plaza - when, according to a UC Police crime alert, "she was approached by two juveniles, a female and a male," who looked around sixteen years old. "The female suspect pointed a handgun at her and demanded her property. The victim complied with the demand." Because just snatching her stuff and terrorizing her with a gun wasn't enough," the suspects verbally threatened her and then fled," escaping detection.
The Cal student who was robbed by three teens bearing two guns alongside the Eucalyptus Grove on December 7 was also an Asian woman, according to UCPD. Coincidence? What with armed robberies at a growing number of Asian-owned restaurants this past month including San Leandro's Tsuru Sushi, Berkeley's King Tsin, Oakland's Coach Sushi, Antioch's South North Dragon, and El Cerrito's Yuet Foo - and pizza deliveryman Thanh Thach murdered during what police called a "possible robbery attempt" in Richmond - and rising concern among East Bay Asian hair- and nail-salon owners as well, we think not.