Family of 18 targeted in robbery at gunpoint near San Francisco tourist spot

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 12:55 AM CDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) - As tourism gradually picks back up in San Francisco, an Asian American family of 18 had a terrifying experience during an attempted robbery.

Cell phone video shows the chaos that broke out along Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular tourist spot in San Francisco, last Monday afternoon. Patrick Elliott and his wife, who is from the Philippines, along with 16 other family members were visiting the area from Wisconsin when they were approached by a man with a gun.

“If my family members or any one of my family got hit, it would just be catastrophic,” Elliott said.

Documents show a 22-year-old man named Carlos Claros and two unnamed suspects attempted to take the family’s cell phones, all while relatives as young as 6 years old looked on.

“Fear for your own life but more fear for your own family,” Elliott said.

Wanting to protect his family, Elliott stepped in. He recalls what Claros allegedly said to one of his family members.

“He said, ‘Ugh, you Asian’ and spit in her direction,” Elliott said.

Police officers who were already doing patrols in the area responded quickly. They followed Claros and his associates to Aquatic Park, where the family says they saw him throw a gun under a vehicle.

Claros was eventually arrested on a number of charges. It turns out he has an extensive criminal history and was on probation related to a 2018 case during the Fisherman’s Wharf incident.

“Stupid follows stupid, so I could understand that he would have a record like that,” Elliot said. “You hear about the three strike rule… If you’re hurting people, there’s no reason to be around anymore.”

Elliot hopes that by speaking out, he can raise more awareness to incidents such as this and encourage witnesses to speak out.

“Nobody came over. Nobody helped. It’s embarrassing to our society nowadays that nobody will help anymore,” he said.

Copyright 2021 KGO via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.