An Asian San Francisco woman who was attacked by a male suspect retaliated and sent the man to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The victim, 76-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie, said she was waiting for the light to turn green to cross the street on Wednesday morning. Suddenly, an unidentified man tried to punch her in the eye. However, the woman immediately reacted, grabbed a nearby stick, and hit the suspect.
“Very traumatized, very scared, and this eye is still bleeding. The right eye still cannot see anything and still bleeding and we have something to absorb the bleeding,” said the victim, translated by her child, Dong-Mei Li.
Police said another Asian was attacked before Xie, an 83-year-old man. Authorities said the two incidents had one suspect, a 39-year-old man, that officials are investigating. They are trying to determine whether racial bias was a factor in both crimes.
While Xie required medical attention after the incident, her attacker suffered worse injuries and was handcuffed and brought away on a stretcher. “She found the stick around the area and fought back,” Li said.
Witnesses who saw the incident said a woman was pummeling her alleged attacker with a stick. Video footage showed a woman believed to be Xie, attacking the man and scolding him in Chinese.
“You bum, why did you hit me?. This bum, he hit me,” Xie told the crowd that gathered around her and her attacker.
San Francisco police continued their investigation of the woman’s case who was lived in the city for the last 26 years. On Wednesday, officials announced they were increasing patrols in the area, more specifically, Asian American communities, after the recent surge of racially bias crimes.
“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,” San Francisco City Mayor London Breed said, KIRO7 reported.
Many unprovoked attacks have resulted in Asian victims in the last year across the Bay Area. Officials were forced to create a special response unit focused on fighting against racially-biased crimes. They have also coordinated with Asian American communities to increase police presence.