An Asian father shared his story of being attacked while outside of a San Francisco grocery store with his one-year-old son.
Several community leaders have expressed their criticisms of the city’s lack of security in the streets for businesses to safely operate amid the pandemic. “My sense of security has been shattered,” said the victim who wished to be named “Bruce.”
Unprovoked Anti-Asian Attack
The resident said he was waiting with his son in a stroller before crossing the street in the Mission Bay neighborhood. He said he was then knocked down to the group and assaulted with punches.
“I was right on the ground and in that exact second, I was trying to shield my head and prevent any worse injuries. I couldn’t protect my child. I was on the floor and he was in a stroller that was slowly rolling away, so it’s definitely very scary as a parent,” he said.
Bruce said he considered the attack as a potential hate crime against him due to his Asian descent. He said the random nature of the attack and the surge of anti-Asian crimes in the last year has increased his suspicions.
Many nearby business owners in the area of the crime were anxious after the attack. Tadu Ethiopian restaurant owner Nani Tsegaye said her store’s location in Mission Bay was previously broken into and robbed more than the one in Tenderloin. She said that doing business in San Francisco bears the risk of fighting against crime.
“It was a heartbreaking experience. We just expect something to happen now more than we expected before,” Tsegaye said.
Director of the Fillmore Merchant’s Association, Vas Kirinis, said it has always been difficult to set up a business in San Francisco. He said it was even more challenging now that San Francisco City Mayor London Breed is urging residents to purchase from small and local stores.
“The city needs to demonstrate that we are safe and clean and fun to be in again. Safety is of the utmost importance for us running out businesses so we really need to address this,” said Kirinis, ABC7 News reported.
It was later revealed that the man who attacked Bruce was Sidney Hammond, who was previously arrested less than a month ago for assault and stealing in the same area. Reporter Dion Lim talked with the District Attorney’s office and discovered they were filing multiple felonies and misdemeanors against the suspect.
Bruce has opened up about his experience and is expressing one wish. “That my attacker can be somewhere where he can’t harm anyone else or if he needs help he can get the help he needs,” he said.