San Francisco residents protest probation sentence in 94-year-old Asian woman’s assault

Outraged community members in San Francisco rallied Friday morning outside the Hall of Justice to oppose the probation sentence of a man who pleaded guilty to assaulting a 94-year-old woman in 2021.

The case of Anh “Peng” Taylor’s stabbing got a lot of attention as it was one of many unprovoked attacks on Asian American Pacific Islander seniors during the pandemic.

The suspect, 35-year-old Daniel Cauich, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation. But the sentence cannot be imposed until both parties sign an agreement as to the details of the sentence.

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, and those gathered to rally for the victim, say this isn’t justice.

“When we see our seniors being violently attacked and there be no actual consequences for it,” said Jenkins. “Yes we are going to come together and we are going to stand together against what is happening.”

Taylor survived the attack in front of her Post Street apartment in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

Friday’s rally, which also included two mayoral candidates — Mark Farrell and Daniel Laurie — as well as supervisor Matt Dorsey, became heated when counter protesters showed up, saying the case was being politicized. The counter protesters called themselves an ad hoc group of lawyers.

The back and forth between the two groups got so intense, law enforcement had to step in to break it up.

“And the fact that these people’s pain and suffering is being weaponized against judges who are doing such a hard job in such a hard climate is very inappropriate and Brooke Jenkins should be ashamed of herself.”

The DA notes this case never went to trial, and the prosecutors were not involved in negotiating the sentence handed down by the judge.

According to the district attorney’s office, this was a plea that was made in open court, that they object to.

In a lengthy phone conversation, Lisa Dewberry, the attorney for Cauich, applauded the judge for taking his mental state at the time of the attack into consideration.

She also said she appreciated the sentence the judge imposed, especially the intensive supervision provision, which would provide treatment for mental health, substance abuse and ankle monitoring.

Saying in part, “The court’s imposed sentence protects the public and it provides my client the necessary services he needs.”

Cauich also pleaded guilty to a prior charge for burglary. It’s a crime he was waiting to be tried for when he attacked Taylor.

The DA’s office has now filed a formal opposition to the judge’s sentence and Friday’s hearing was postponed till April 12, followed by a meeting between lawyers on April 16.

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