Man assaulted 81-year-old Asian American man after asking about his ethnicity


The San Diego Police Department is investigating a hate crime after a man assaulted an 81-year-old Asian American man on the morning of Dec. 17 while he was on a walk on Imperial Avenue near Escuela Street in Lincoln Park.

Around 10 a.m. that day, an apparent transient stopped and asked the elderly man, Mark Sonouvong, about his ethnicity.

After refusing to answer, the man knocked Mr. Sonouvong to the ground and brutally beat him.

This is the third Asian hate crime incident in San Diego since the onset of the pandemic.

Sonouvong is currently recovering at Scripps Mercy Hospital.

San Diego’s Asian Pacific Islander Initiative wants to create a rapid response action plan to engage local government, media, and businesses, collect data, better educate communities on these events, and prepare all of San Diego to be safe.

Specifically, they want to educate target areas in which these hate crimes occur, Fields said.


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