Arrest made in Lyft driver attack caught on video


SOUTH EL MONTE, Calif. — A man has been arrested for allegedly pistol-whipping and robbing an Asian-American Lyft driver in a Los Angeles suburb during an attack caught on video, authorities announced Wednesday.

The arrest for the May 10 attack in South El Monte was to be discussed Thursday afternoon in a news conference by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Paul Liao, 67, was robbed of more than $1,500 in cash and struck twice in the face with a gun during the attack, which was captured by the car’s camera.

Liao told KCBS-TV that the gunman slid into his back seat at a gas station where Liao had washed his car and was awaiting his next ride. He managed to dissuade the man from stealing the car.

Liao, who is from Taiwan, suffered a bloody nose. He said the robber asked if he came from China.

The Sheriff’s Department had said it was investigating whether the robbery was a hate crime.

The robbery comes amid a reported rise in anti-Asian violence around the nation since the coronavirus entered the U.S. after surfacing in China.

California lawmakers last week said they are seeking $200 million over the next three years to fight hate crimes against Asian Americans. The money would go to groups that provide various services, including escorts for older residents who fear attacks.

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