Founders of Asian self-defense group stop suspects stealing luggage in SF’s Japantown

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Several suspects were caught on camera in San Francisco’s Japantown, running off with stolen luggage and suitcases.

That’s until two bystanders eating in a restaurant nearby jumped into action and chased after the suspects.

It happened near Pa’ina restaurant on Post Street last week. 

The two good samaritans, Jeremy Jong and Hudson Liao were able to recover the victims’ things but their help to the community goes way beyond this recent incident.

The two recently formed a community safety group called ‘Asians Are Strong’ and through this group, they teach free self-defense courses to empower the Asian community and encourage everyone to help one another.

Surveillance video from Pa’ina restaurant in San Francisco’s Japantown shows a suspect running down Post Street with a suitcase after breaking into a visitor’s car.

Moments later, a second suspect and then a third follow.

They almost got away with it too, that was until Jeremy Jong and Hudson Liao jumped into action.

“Chasing towards them and I was able to get inside the complex and once I got into the complex they dropped the bags,” Jeremy Jong said.

Jong co-owns Pa’ina restaurant and was originally alerted by his staff that a crime was occurring across the street.

He ran after two of the thieves and Liao chased after the third, all while dodging car traffic.

“He called out and told me something was going on so when I ran out there, I saw the third one running away from Jeremy so I started pursuing and chasing that person. Getting around the corner I was close to catching up to them but I didn’t realize they had a getaway car so they jumped in the getaway car,” Hudson Liao said.

While the suspects got away, Jong and Liao were able to recover all the luggage belonging to the tourists from Chicago who were visiting the city last week.

The San Francisco natives say they’re disappointed to see the increasing crime in the city and more recently, the anti-Asian attacks have prompted them to form their own community safety organization in March called Asians Are Strong.

Through that group, the pair teach free self-defense courses through events. 

“First thing we wanted to do was address the community, empower the community, let them know they don’t have to be in fear all the time and there are people like us looking out for them,” Liao said.

Just two weeks ago, the group was filming a self-defense instructional video when yet another car break-in occurred at the same location. 

Surveillance video shows them again chasing after a suspect who they stopped and held down until police arrived.

Though Asians Are Strong, the pair encourages others to learn self-defense and improve their situational awareness.

You can find educational content on their social media pages and website.

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