“I see a very young guy beating up a very old man in the middle of the street and a bunch of people watching,” self-described cowboy, 24-year-old Darren Mark Stallcup, told NBC Bay Area on Thursday.
The attack unfolded on Wednesday in Chinatown. Stallcup said he rushed out of his apartment after he heard people screaming on the streets.
The attacker initially fled the scene as people tried to help the elderly man, who is Asian, according to NBC’s Robert Handa.
“Before I could even pull out my phone, the guy came back around a second time. This time in a full sprint with the craziest look in his eye,” he said. “I remember screaming at him during the fight. While I was bear-hugging him, I was yelling at him. I was telling him that the old man he was attacking was actually his brother and that ‘love was the answer.'”
The attacker reportedly did not answer Stallcup, who then struggled with the attacker until police arrived.
San Francisco police said that the attacker was taken into custody and faces assault charges. The department did not immediately return Fox News’s request for additional information on the suspect.
“I was just doing what any good man would do. And hopefully, if any of you saw somebody attacking an elderly person, you might try to do something to stop them,” Stallcup added.
Hate crimes in California have been on the rise this year, with San Francisco police reporting 28 hate crime cases in the month of June alone. They say the number of incidents is likely higher as many are never reported to officials.
Many of the crimes have been directed at Asian San Francisco residents, including in one case where a suspect, Sidney Hammond, was arrested and charged with hate crimes after two unprovoked attacks on Asian Americans.
In one of the attacks, Hammond reportedly beat up a 36-year-old Asian father pushing a stroller holding a 1-year-old child.