SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — An 81-year-old man, Mark Sonouvong is recovering at Scripps Mercy Hospital, after being beaten.

Now San Diego police say they have opened a hate crime investigation.

"They were afraid of a punctured left eye, he had a laceration on his forehead, guy kicked in his ribs pretty good and bloody nose, big, large black eye,” said Dennis Lambert. “He’s beat up pretty bad when I went to see him."

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Lambert is Sonouvong’s brother-in-law, he was shocked after seeing him Friday at the hospital.

"It upsets me that this is going on in this country about this Asian hate business," said Lambert.

Lambert says at around 10 a.m. Friday morning, Sonouvong was going about his typical morning walk.

"Some fellow came up and asked, ‘are you Chinese or Vietnamese?’ and my brother-in-law said leave me alone," said Lambert.

That’s when the suspect, knocked him down to the ground and beat him up, according to Lambert.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

AAPI initiative Joann Fields says the violence has got to stop.

"This is the third incident against an Asian elderly person,” said Fields. “We want to stop that, we want to be a part of the solution,"

She said there really isn’t a real reason why there are such acts like this that happen. But she says we can all make change happen by speaking up and reporting what you may see or hear to authorities.

"All San Diegans, I believe want to be safe and in order to have that safety is to work together,” said Fields. “We’re stronger together, it’s important for all of us,"

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