The Ingleside Light is a reader-funded community news outlet. If you find the journalism here useful, please consider subscribing. You can do so here.
A man who allegedly vandalized businesses along Ocean Avenue, especially those owned by people of Chinese descent, and in the Mission has been charged with over two dozen felony counts of vandalism along with hate crime enhancements, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Monday.
A total of 33 charges were filed against Derik Barreto for 27 separate incidents involving 20 Chinese-owned businesses in San Francisco. The charges include 27 counts of felony vandalism, four felony counts of second degree burglary, one misdemeanor count of possession of burglary tools and one misdemeanor count of possession of a concealed weapon.
“He did a lot of damage. I hope he stays in jail a long long time,” Monza Pizzeria owner Juraci Filho told the Ingleside Light. “I spent over $20,000 on windows and security gates. My store was vandalized and burglarized eight times in two years.”
In June, police arrested a man for several incidents. However, while the man was in custody the vandalism continued.
Barreto allegedly traveled by a scooter and used a slingshot, pipe or hammer to break windows of businesses that were primarily Chinese-owned along Ocean Avenue and in the Mission. In some of the incidents, the District Attorney’s Office said Barreto allegedly took cash and other items from businesses after breaking their windows.
The District Attorney’s Office is also alleging that the incidents that occurred from April to August of this year were racially motivated based on statements made by Barreto to police that he allegedly targeted businesses he believed were Chinese-owned. The District Attorney’s Office charged Barreto with 31 hate crimes enhancements.
“We absolutely do not tolerate violence or hate in San Francisco. Chinese-owned businesses should be able to operate without fear of being racially targeted by vandalism, burglary, or harassment,” Boudin said in a statement.
“We stand with San Francisco’s AAPI community against hate and will do everything in our power to make sure everyone is and feels safe,” he added.
The San Francisco Police Department said they detained Barreto on Aug. 11 near the area of Ocean Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard. Officers determined that Barreto matched the description of the suspect in connection with the vandalism and burglaries and was later booked into county jail.
Barreto was scheduled for arraignment Monday afternoon, but was rescheduled to next Tuesday so that a Portuguese interpreter could appear in court, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which also filed a motion to detain Barreto.
Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime should contact the District Attorney’s Hate Crime hotline at (628) 652-4311.