Police have confirmed the arrest of an 18-year-old after a vicious carjacking against a 61-year-old man in Chinatown. The man was also of Asian descent. It is unclear if the man was targeted because of his ethnicity, but crimes against the Asian population have skyrocketed since COVID-19. Asian business owners are now being targeted for hate crimes and burglaries. Many believe that Asians avoid using banks, making their homes prime targets to rob. In this case, the perpetrators may have targeted the area hoping to find an Asian with a wad of cash on them. Nonetheless, the beating itself was vicious, and the 61-year-old man was found unconscious in the street.
Police believe that there are four suspects involved in the carjacking, but thus far, only one of them has been apprehended. The suspect is currently being charged with attempted murder and aggravated vehicular hijacking. Another juvenile has been arrested in connection with possessing the victim’s stolen vehicle, but it is not believed that he was involved in the carjacking attempt. It is unclear if he will be charged with a crime.
The victim was in his vehicle when a second vehicle approached him from behind. The vehicle was stolen. Four teens rushed from the vehicle and attacked the victim’s car, pulling him from the car, beating him, and stealing the car. The perpetrators stole credit cards from the victim and then used those credit cards at various stores. Police were able to track the stolen credit cards and get footage of the suspects using the card.
The victim sustained serious permanent injuries as a result of the attack. He spent more than a month in a coma and now must live with traumatic brain injury for the rest of his life. While he is still alive and able to talk and walk with the aid of a walker, he still requires 24-hour care to ensure his needs and safety. In other words, the man can no longer care for himself because the beating he took was so brutal. Prosecutors are charging the lone suspect with attempted murder, which tends to be rare in carjacking situations. However, if you beat a victim to within an inch of his life, the police will likely charge you with attempted murder.
That doesn’t mean they will be able to get the charges to stick. In this case, aggravated carjacking plus aggravated battery (the severity of the beating and the age of the victim are both aggravating factors). It seems more likely that the defendant will plead the charges down to something like the above rather than accept a guilty plea for attempted murder based on a carjacking. While individuals are killed during carjackings, carjackers don’t tend to kill the victims. They tend to remove them from the vehicle. So, it will be difficult for the prosecution to establish that the defendant’s intent was murder rather than theft.
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