Filipino family of 18 targeted in attempted robbery in SF Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco | Photo courtesy of Mauro Arrue/Unsplash

A FILIPINO American family from Wisconsin was targeted in an attempted robbery while visiting Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco earlier this April.

Patrick Elliott, his Filipina wife, and 16 other family members who are all from the Philippines, were on a California road trip on Monday, April 19, when they made their last stop in San Francisco, according to an exclusive report from ABC7 News.

The family was hoping to check out the Sea Lions at Pier 39 and parked in the area of Powell and the Embarcadero when a family member was allegedly approached by an armed man and two other men.

ABC7 News said that the armed man, identified as 22-year old Carlos Claros, and two unnamed suspects attempted to take the family’s cell phones. The incident happened in front of the family, which includes children as young as 6 years old. It was also captured on video by one of the family members.

In the cell phone video obtained by the TV station, a young person can be heard saying, “I heard them (the suspects) have a gun, I have a gun so I started recording!”

“If my family member or anyone within my family got hit, it would just be catastrophic,” Elliott told ABC7 News’ Dion Lim via Zoom from his home in Wisconsin.

“You fear for your own life, you fear for your safety,” he added.
Elliot reportedly stepped in to protect his family, saying he would at least absorb the impact of any shots fired. He also recalled what Claros said to one of his family members.

“He said ‘Ugh, you Asian’ and spit in her direction,” he said.
Elliot told ABC7 News that no witnesses helped him and his family.

“Nobody came over, nobody helped,” he said. “Just to yell out would go a tremendously long way. It’s embarrassing to our society that nobody will help anymore.”

Claros was arrested and charged with six counts of four felonies and two misdemeanors.

Claros has an extensive criminal history including drug possession and possession of a stolen vehicle last year, according to ABC7 News. He took part in a strong-armed robbery spree in late 2019 spanning multiple neighborhoods and was on probation during this April incident.

The station reached out to District Attorney Chesa Boudin to ask why the robbery charges were dropped and Claros was on probation during the incident with the Elliotts.

“Our office has charged Mr. Claros in this recent incident with six counts (four felonies and two misdemeanors), including attempted robbery with a gun. We filed a motion for his detention, which was granted by a judge. Mr. Claros is on felony probation from a 2018 incident. Given that this is a pending case, we are limited in what else we can share at this time,”  Rachel Marshall, director of communications for Boudin, responded to ABC7 News.

Elliot, for his part, spoke out about how Claros could still walk on the street despite his offenses.

“You hear about the three strike rule that they have and I think one strike, two strikes you’re hurting people. There’s no purpose for you to be around anymore,” he told ABC7 News.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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