Xia Zhen Xie, 76, was waiting to cross at a traffic light on San Francisco’s Market Street when she was attacked. A 30-year-old man approached and unexpectedly punched her in the face.
Xie began to fight back. She picked up a wooden board she saw on the street and defended herself against the racist assailant.
KPIX reporter Dennis O’Donnell posted a video to Twitter that showed the aftermath of the attack. Xie was tending to her wounds, holding an ice pack to her blackened eye, while her attacker was bleeding from the mouth, handcuffed to a stretcher.
In the video, Xie can be heard asking her attacker in a Cantonese dialect, “You bum, why did you hit me?” according to Insider.
San Francisco police are now investigating the same suspect in connection to another recent attack on an elderly Asian male that happened before Xie was attacked.
Hate crimes against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have increased in frequency since the coronavirus pandemic began, and have been particularly targeted at the elderly population.
The experience has left Xie shaken, according to her family who say that she cannot see out of her left eye and has been unable to eat.
She is also terrified to leave her house.
“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.”John Chen, Grandson
Xie’s grandson John Chen pulled together a GoFundMe for his grandmother, with the intent to help her pay for her extensive injuries and trauma.
“First of all, I would like to thank everyone that has donated and supported my family. Hate crimes towards Asians is nothing new. It has happened since the first Asian immigrants arrived in America. But during the pandemic, hate crimes towards the AAPI community have accelerated in an alarming rate.”John Chen
Xie now donating the nearly $1 million raised on her behalf to the AAPI community.
“The AAPI community is bleeding from this violence and hatred. We as a community cannot stay silent nor be silenced anymore. That is why our family plans to donate ALL funds generated in this GoFundMe to help the AAPI community recover, and combat racism.”John Chen