84-Yr-Old Thai Man Murdered in U.S. Was ‘Victim of Hate Crime’

Left, footage of Vicha Ratanapakdee being attacked. Screenshot: EvanSernoffsky / Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO — Video of the deadly assault of an elderly Thai man in the U.S. was released on Monday by his family, who suspected it to be a hate crime. 

The CCTV footage captured the shocking moment when 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was mortally wounded in Daly City, San Francisco on Thursday. He died two days later at a hospital. His family said Vicha was likely a victim of anti-Asian sentiment turned deadly. 

“Our family has endured multiple verbal Anti-Asian attacks since the beginning of the pandemic, this time it was fatal,” Eric Lawson, Vicha’s son-in-law, wrote online.

“Racism has once again proven deadly. Anti-Asian racism has become a very serious danger to all Asian Americans, particularly in San Francisco.”

Antoine Watson, 19, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murder, elder abuse, and assualt with a deadly weapon, local media reports said. On the same day, police also reportedly arrested Maylasia Goo, 20, who was with Watson at the attack with being an accessory after the fact.

Lawson wrote that Vicha, who moved to the U.S. from Thailand, “was a nearly blind, gentle person beloved by his family.”

A GoFundMe page for Vicha’s family was also launched. 

Spikes in racially motivated attacks that target people perceived to be of Chinese and Asian descent were reported in countries like the U.S., U.K., and Canada following the outbreak of the coronavirus in early 2020. 

In July, a man in New York City was arrested for spitting on a woman on the subway and yelling, “Asians caused the virus!” and “Go back to China!”