Asian American woman, 75, fights back after being punched in the face in unprovoked attack in San Francisco

Two elderly Asian American people were the latest victims of a acak and brutal attack in the US, as tensions run high over increasing racial violence.
Xiao Zhen Xie, 75, reportedly defended herself and fought her attacker after being punched in the eye in San Francisco.

Videos posted to social media captured the moment after the attack, which police believe is an unprovoked assault.

One video posted to Twitter shows Xie looking distraught and holding an icepack against her face while surrounded by a group of people, including police officers and paramedics.

* Witnesses, police paint picture of murderous US rampage that took 8 lives
* 'Nobody came, nobody helped': Fears of anti-Asian violence rattle the Asian American community
* Olivia Munn issues public plea to 'Stop Asian Hate' amid increased violence
* Coronavirus: What it's like to be Asian in the US as the pandemic spreads

She can be heard saying, He hit me, in Cantonese, while gesturing at a man with a stick shes holding.

The video also shows a man, who Xie seems to be referring to, with a bloodied mouth. He's tied to a stretcher while receiving medical treatment from paramedics at the scene.

According to the San Francisco Police Department, two elderly victims were taken to hospital on Wednesday following unprovoked aggravated assaults.

In a statement police said an 83-year-old Asian American man had also been assaulted the incident is believed to have occurred shortly before Xie was hit near Market Street in the city.

Dennis O'Donnell/Screenshot from Twitter video
Asian American woman Xiao Zhen Xie was attacked and punched in the face while waiting for a traffic light in San Francisco this week.

Police said 39-year-old Steven Jenkins has been arrested in relation to the assaults. Hes facing two charges of assault likely to produce great bodily injury, and two charges of elder abuse.

Following the incidents, Jenkins was taken to hospital for an unrelated, prior medical condition, police said.

Investigators are working to determine if racial bias was a motivating factor in the incident, the statement said.

Speaking to US media broadcaster KPIX from her retirement home, Xie said she was waiting for a traffic light to change when she was hit in the face. In the interview, which was translated through her daughter Dong-Mei Li, Xie said she used a stick to defend herself.

I don't know him. Why [did] he attack me? Xie told KPIX through her daughter.

Li said her mother couldn't see out of her left eye on Wednesday night, and said the attack had left her very scared and traumatised and very hurt.

A GoFundMe page set up by her grandson has raised more than $585,000 for Xie.

KPIX reported that the 83-year-old Vietnamese man named Ngoc Pham was recovering from his injuries following the attack, which included a fractured nose.

The assaults come just days after eight people, six of whom were Asian-American women, were killed at spa businesses in Atlanta, Georgia.

A white 21-year-old man suspected in the shootings has been taken into police custody. He's reportedly told investigators that race was not a factor in the attack.

The shooting has caused widespread condemnation from around the globe, with many people using social media to try and raise awareness of anti-Asian violence.

Curtis Compton/AP
After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby S, right, stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Youngs Asian Massage parlor where four people were killed this week.

The video of Xie on Twitter has been viewed more than 2.8 million times and has been shared widely by people condemning the violence.

The public outcry has also seen celebrities, politicians and public figures, many of whom are of Asian descent, speak out about racism and the escalating violence.

US Vice President Kamala Harris was among those to speak out in solidarity with the families of the people killed and with the Asian American community. She also encouraged the public to speak out against racism and acts of violence.

We stand with you and understand how this has frightened, shocked and outraged all people, Harris said. But knowing the increasing levels of hate crimes against our Asian American brothers and sisters, we also want to speak out in solidarity with them and acknowledge none of us should ever be silent in any form of hate, CNBC reported Harris saying.

Alyssa Pointer/AP
Flowers and signs are displayed at a memorial outside of the Gold Spa in Atlanta.

The attacks come at a time amid growing reports of anti-Asian racism and violence during the coronavirus pandemic.

San Francisco police said it had seen alarming spike in attacks against Asian Americans in recent weeks, CNN reported.

While advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said it has received at least 3795 firsthand complaints of violence and discrimination against Asian Americans since it began tracking them last March, CNN reported.


Our Partner