An elderly Asian woman fought back against a man who randomly attacked her in San Francisco and sent him to hospital covered in blood on a gurney.
Xiao Zhen Xie, 76, told San Francisco’s KPIX 5 that she was standing at a crossing on Market Street on Wednesday when a 39-year-old man punched her in the face.
Xie said she found a nearby stick to defend herself and started pummelling him.
While Xie suffered eye injuries, the unidentified man was taken away on a stretcher with his face covered in cuts.
Xie then tried to go for her attacker again as he was being wheeled to an ambulance, and had to be restrained by police.
She points the wooden plank towards him while yelling: ‘You bum, why did you bully me?’ and ‘He hit me, he hit me!’ in Cantonese.
The incident comes amid a surge in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Asians living in the United States.
Xiao Zhen Xie, 76, has fought back against her attacker in San Francisco, leaving the much younger man with injuries that required a trip to the hospital
Officers said a 39-year-old man is being investigated for the attack against Xie as well as another attack on Wednesday against an 83-year-old Asian man
The attack took place just hours after Robert Aaron Long shot and killed six Asian women at a series of massage parlors in Georgia.
The aftermath of the incident in San Francisco was caught on camera by KPIX Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell who came upon the scene during his morning run.
From her retirement home, Xie, who has lived in San Francisco for 26 years, recounted the attack. Her daughter, Dong-Mei Li, helped to translate.
They told KPIX 5 that Xie was ‘very traumatized’ and ‘very scared’ after the incident and that one of her eyes is still bleeding.
Li also said that her mother cannot see out of her left eye and has not been able to eat.
John Chen, Xie’s grandson, told KPIX 5 that his grandmother was ‘extremely terrified’ and afraid to leave her home.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover Xie’s medical expenses. As of Thursday afternoon, the page had raised $67,643, exceeding its goal of $50,000.
Xie said she was standing at a traffic crossing on Market Street on Wednesday when a man punched her in the face in an apparently unprovoked attack
Xie (right) said she found a nearby stick to defend herself with and began pummelling the assailant
While Xie suffered eye injuries that required hospital attention, the unidentified man was taken away on a stretcher
‘I am amazed by her bravery,’ Chen wrote of his grandmother on the GoFundMe page.
‘She was the one that defended herself from this unprovoked attack. But she is now suffering two serious black eyes and one that is bleeding unstoppably. Her wrist has also swelled up. She has been severely affected mentally, physically, and emotionally. She also stated that she is afraid to step out of her home from now on. This traumatic event has left her with PTSD.’
San Francisco police said they are investigating the aggravated assault which happened at Market Street and Charles J. Brenham Place at around 10.30am on Wednesday.
In the video uploaded by O’Donnell to Twitter, Xie can be seen holding an ice pack to her face while shouting and crying.
‘The woman said that she was hit,’ O’Donnell said. ‘She attacked back. From what I could see, she wanted more of the guy on the stretcher and the police were holding her back.’
Police said both Xie and the man were taken to hospital for treatment.
KPIX 5 reported that officers said a 39-year-old man is being investigated for the attack against Xie as well as another attack on Wednesday against an 83-year-old Asian man.
‘We have to do our job and we have to investigate these cases with all resources brought to bear and we need to make arrests, and we’ve done that,’ San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said.
Scott and Mayor London Breed have promised more targeted patrols after a rise in attacks on Asian Americans in the city.
‘We need to understand, not only what is going on, but why these attacks occur. Because in some cases they didn’t include any robbery or theft,’ Breed said.
From her retirement home, Xie, who has lived in San Francisco for 26 years, recounted the attack. Her daughter, Dong-Mei Li, helped to translate and said her mom was ‘very traumatized’ and ‘very scared’ after the incident and that one of her eyes is still bleeding
Xie’s attack comes amid a rise in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Asians living in the United States. Pictured: A vigil for victims of a shooting in Atlanta, Georgia is held in Jackson Heights, Queens on Wednesday
Activists have drawn a link between former President Donald Trump’s repeated use of the phrase ‘China virus’ to describe Covid-19 and the increasingly open hostility to Asian Americans. Pictured: Attendees at a vigil in Philadelphia in solidarity with the Asian American community on Wednesday
The attack was the second affecting an Asian person on Market Street just this week after 59-year-old Danny Yu Chang was severely beaten on Monday.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, shot and killed six Asian women in massage parlors in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, on Tuesday night.
Long told police his rampage was prompted by his ‘sex addiction’, but many people it was a targeted attack on Asians-Americans.
Cherokee police Captain Jay Baker also sparked outrage when he said Long launched his shooting spree at the end of a ‘really bad day for him.’
It later emerged Baker shared an image of racist t-shirts on Facebook in April last year.
The picture showed the tops with Corona beer labels that read: ‘Covid 19 IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA.’ Baker wrote: ‘Love my shirt. Get yours while they last.’
Racist incidents targeting Asian Americans have skyrocketed in the last year.
StopAAPIHate, a coalition addressing anti-Asian hate amid the pandemic, said it had received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
According to figures from a report by the group, the majority of incidents happened at places of business, with the second most common site being public streets.
Sixty-eight per cent of incidents reported involved verbal harassment, while incidents of coughing/spitting, physical assault, online harassment and avoidance were also recorded.
Incidents were reported in all 50 states and affected individuals from a variety of races and ethnicities, the majority of whom were of Chinese descent.
StopAAPIHate, a coalition addressing anti-Asian hate amid the pandemic, said it had received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Pictured: A woman holds a sign at vigil for victims of a shooting in Atlanta, Georgia is held in Jackson Heights, Queens on Wednesday
Democrat Assemblyman David Chui said some 1,600 of the incidents reported to StopAAPIHate took place in California and that the actual number of attacks is likely to be higher as some go unreported.
In January, a 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown. Later that month, 94-year-old Vichar Ratanapakdee was killed in an assault on a San Francisco street.
Last week, Pak Ho, 75, died after being assaulted and robbed in Oakland.
Chiu and others have proposed a statewide hotline for hate crimes and have called on Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint an attorney general from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Activists have drawn a link between former President Donald Trump’s repeated use of the phrase ‘China virus’ to describe Covid-19 and the increasingly open hostility to Asian Americans.
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that there was ‘no question’ that ‘damaging rhetoric’ from the Trump administration had resulted in ‘perceptions of the Asian-American community that are inaccurate, unfair [and] has elevated threats against Asian Americans’
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki echoed this, saying that there was ‘no question’ that ‘damaging rhetoric’ from the Trump administration had resulted in ‘perceptions of the Asian-American community that are inaccurate, unfair [and] has elevated threats against Asian Americans.’
‘That’s why we’re seeing that around the country,’ she said, referring to the increasing number of reported hate crimes involving Asian Americans.
Psaki’s comments followed a shooting at three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday in which eight people were killed.
Six of those killed were Asian-American women, prompting concerns that the white male shooter deliberately targeted this group.
The shooting unleashed an outpouring of fear and anger from Asian-Americans and others on social media, who were already reeling from the rise in hate crimes and say that racism against their community is not taken seriously.
The anger only increased after a deputy sheriff told a press conference that the shooter had been having ‘a really bad day’.
‘He was pretty much fed up and had been kind of at the end of his rope,’ Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said on Wednesday.
‘Yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.’