The video, originally posted to Instagram over the weekend, has since been deleted by the user but was re-posted by others.
Since being shared, it has received hundreds of thousands of views and comments of people calling for help. The video appears to show the suspect chasing the man with what appears to be the victim's trash picker.
“The video is very disgusting to see. Elder abuse.” — Supervisor @shamannwalton speaks about this viral video of an elderly Asian man attacked, bullied & humiliated by a group of people for collecting empty cans in a Bayview neighborhood. @SFPDBayview working the case. #racism pic.twitter.com/iF4yqkJOk9— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) February 24, 2020
San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton, who represents the Bayview District, condemned Monday's incident.
The city leader is vowing to continue efforts to implement programs to combat violence in neighborhoods, in addition to lobbying for more resources to unify communities.
"Elder abuse is taking place," Walton said. "We're working on getting somebody intermittently who can work with our office to coordinate how to respond to and prevent and intervene in violence in our district as a whole."
Also part of the solution is the city's Community Ambassadors program, formed in 2010 in response to two high-profile, racially motivated attacks on Asian seniors.
Members of the multi-lingual team who Eyewitness News' sister station in San Francisco spoke to wished they were present for what happened over the weekend and believe they could have helped the situation.
"Yes, I think so. If Johnny, the one who speaks Chinese on my team, could have been here to talk to him, to tell him what was going on and help him get out of there," said Schevonne Baty, the community ambassador team lead for Visitacion Valley.
While racial slurs can be heard in the video, San Francisco police have not yet called the incident a hate crime.
Police are investigating and trying to locate and identify the victim and witnesses.
Offers to help the victim and his family are pouring in from both around the world and high-profile celebrities, but funds can't be given out until the victim is identified.
San Francisco police are encouraging those who know anything about the incident to call their anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444.