San Francisco Police Department

Teen Pleads Not Guilty To Brutal Beating Of 88-Year-Old Woman

Tim Ryan
January 28, 2019 - 9:15 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — An 18-year-old pleaded not guilty on Monday to the savage beating of an 88-year-old grandmother in a park in the city's Visitacion Valley neighborhood that's left her unconscious for weeks. 

Keonte Gathron appeared in court, shackled at the ankles and wrists, with his public defender to respond to charges from the January 8 attack on Yik Oi Huang. She had gone out for her morning exercise when she was attacked, authorities said. 

“This has been a very trying time for our family, as our beloved grandmother remains in critical but stable condition,” said Sassana Yee, the victim's granddaughter, extending her deep gratitude for the intensive care unit at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

“Our family continues to be moved by the generous outpouring of support for our family and our grandmother. Thank you so, so much," she said. 

She was one of several family members who attended court on Monday. 

Before Gathron's capture, he assaulted a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old and stole their cellphones in separate incidents, according to police

He faces numerous charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping, child endangerment and resisting arrest. 

“As of right now, he’s maintaining his speedy preliminary hearing right, which means that as of today, we have until February 11th to begin his preliminary hearing,” said San Francisco prosecutor Ryan Kao after the arraignment. 

Gathron is scheduled to be back in court Tuesday to schedule that hearing.  He remains jailed without bail. 

To allay neighborhood worries about safety, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said he may increase patrols in Visitacion Valley. 

Written by Brian Krans.