General Crime

* Lavonte Drummer and Dominic Davis Oakland suspects who beat Tian Sheng Yu to death charged with murder

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Two 18-year-old men will be charged with murder in connection with an unprovoked attack in broad daylight in downtown Oakland last week that led to the death of 59-year-old Tian Sheng Yu of San Francisco, Alameda County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tom Rogers said today.However, Rogers said he won’t file hate crime charges against suspects Lavonte Drummer and Dominic Davis, who are black, for attacking Yu and his son, 27-year-old Jin Cheng Yu, who are Chinese-American. The district attorney’s office considered the charges, but Rogers said there’s no evidence the attack was racially motivated and Drummer and Davis have previously attacked victims of other races.Drummer has a conviction as a juvenile for assaulting a 55-year-old black man in downtown Oakland and Drummer and Davis were both arrested in April 2007 for the attempted strong-armed robbery of a 31-year-old white man, Rogers said. Before the attack on Tian Sheng Yu and his son in the 1800 block of Telegraph Avenue at about 3 p.m. on Friday, Drummer and Davis had been drinking Bacardi rum and “agreed they would attack someone because they were frustrated and their lives were not going well,” he said.Drummer and Davis weren’t planning to rob anyone, according to Rogers.Drummer and Davis, who are being held in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail, are scheduled to be arraigned at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland at 2 p.m. on Thursday. The charges against them won’t be filed until Thursday, as courts throughout the state were closed today for a furlough day.Yu, who immigrated to the U.S. from China in 1998, and his son came to Oakland on Friday to go to a pawn shop.According to Oakland police, Drummer and Davis first hit Yu’s son without warning.Police said that after the son told Yu, who had been parking his car, what had happened, they approached Drummer and Davis and Yu, speaking in Mandarin, asked the 18-year-olds why they had hit his son.Yu was hit in the head and his head hit the pavement, leaving him unconscious and unresponsive. He was rushed to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he died at 11:27 a.m. Tuesday after being taken off life support.Jin Cheng Yu was also injured but he was treated and released on Friday.Rogers said he charged Drummer and Davis with murder because their actions were dangerous to human life, even if they didn’t have an intent to kill.He said Tian Sheng Yu was “vulnerable” because of his age and because he was hit in the head and subject to falling on a hard concrete surface. “It was two against one and Yu was sucker-punched,” Rogers said.He said a videotape of the incident indicates that Drummer punched Yu in the face with his right hand and a split second later Davis hit Yu in the face with his left hand, sending Yu to the pavement and leaving him dazed.Rogers said the incident in which Drummer was convicted of assaulting a 55-year-old man in Oakland also was brutal.He said the victim also hit his head on the pavement after being punched and lay unconscious in a pool of blood and had to have seven stitches.

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