A man who was arrested in San Francisco for brutally assaulting an elderly Asian woman previously had hate crime charges dropped against him in 2021 by the previous Alameda district attorney, NBC News reported on Thursday.
James Lee Ramsey, a 27-year-old Oakland resident, was arrested on July 21 after kicking and assaulting an 88-year-old Asian woman and reportedly attacking a witness at the scene, NBC News reported. Ramsey avoided prison in 2021 after having hate crime charges against him dropped by former Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.
The elderly woman was rushed to the hospital and is currently in stable condition, according to NBC News.
Ramsey is now in police custody and is being charged with elder abuse, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and battery causing serious bodily injury. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held without bail.
San Fransisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins called the crime “horrific” and promised Ramsey would finally face proper justice, according to NBC.
“The crimes that Mr. Ramsey is accused of are horrific. I am grateful to the witness who was able to detain him until police arrived ensuring that he did not flee,” Jenkins said in a statement. “My office, on behalf of the victims, and every San Franciscan who is fed up with brazen violence like this, will stand for justice and seek to hold him accountable for his crimes.”
O’Malley previously dropped hate crime charges against Ramsey in 2021 after he assaulted Carl Chan, president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. Ramsey plead no contest and walked free after his public defender cited mental health challenges, the San Fransico Chronicle reported.
“This was not a hate crime, and we’re glad that enhancement was properly dismissed,” said Ramsey’s public defender at the time, Brendan Woods. “Mr. Ramsey needs mental health treatment, not state prison.”
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