On Wednesday, a 76-year-old woman was attacked on Market Street in San Francisco, she is the latest victim in a series of attacks on Asians in the Bay Area.
Xiao Zhen Xie, 76, together with her daughter Dong-Mei Li, spoke to KPIX 5 about turning the tables on her attacker, leaving him with injuries that required a trip to the hospital. They shared the traumatizing assault and the injuries Xiao sustained.
“Very traumatized, very scared and this eye is still bleeding,” Li told KPIX 5. “The right eye still cannot see anything and still bleeding and we have something to absorb the bleeding.”
The 76-year-old woman who has resided in San Francisco for 26 years said she was quite shaken up and that the assault was completely unprovoked so her immediate instinct was to fight back.
The elderly says she was just waiting at the traffic light and then the assailant punched her by her left eye. Her instincts kicked in immediately to defend herself. While Xiao suffered injuries and required medical attention, it was her attacker that ended up on the stretcher.
“She found the stick around the area and fought back,” Li said.
Li added that her mother cannot see at all out of her left eye and hasn’t been able to eat. She hopes that time will heal the physical and emotional wounds but this incident is one that has scarred her for life.
“As you can see she is extremely terrified. She’s terrified to even step out,” John Chen, Xie’s grandson told KPIX 5.
KPIX 5 reported that Xie’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.
San Francisco police said they are investigating the incident. The assault happened at Market St. and Charles J. Brenham Place near McAllister St. at around 10:30 a.m.
Witnesses said they saw the woman beating the attacker.
In a video recording taken at the scene, the alleged assailant is handcuffed to a stretcher with his face bloodied while the crying elderly appears to berate the man and wave what looks to be a wooden board at him as he’s being taken away with a stretcher.
“You bum, why did you hit me?” Xiao said to the man on the stretcher in Chinese.
The woman then turned to the crowd of people who had gathered and said: “This bum, he hit me! He hit me, this bum,“ she repeated.
San Francisco police did not disclose a motive for the attack and it was not clear whether Xiao’s race had anything to do with the assault.
In 2020, hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 150%, even as hate crimes overall declined. The wave of incidents has sparked rallies throughout the Bay Area condemning anti-Asian violence and more than $1.4 million in state funding to track and stop the attacks.