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An elderly woman who was assaulted in San Francisco on Wednesday returned the favor with a wooden club against her attacker.
The attack on 76-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie on Market Street took place around 10:30 a.m. while he was stopped at a traffic light. He said a man approached him and punched him in the left eye. Despite his injuries, Xie fired back, grabbed a wooden board and hit his attacker, he told KPIX5 through a translator.
Xiao Zhen Xie says she was waiting at a traffic light in San Francisco when she was punched in the face. https://t.co/4KZxk9lkrj
— CTV News Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) March 18, 2021
Xie said that the attack was not provoked at all.
Her alleged attacker, identified by police as 39-year-old Stephen Jenkins, was rushed to hospital with “a prior medical problem,” according to a San Francisco police news release, and later arrested.
Police said the suspect was brutally beaten prior to his alleged attack on Xie.
“The boy was brutally beaten in a previous attack,” San Francisco Police Department spokesman Matt Dorsey told People. This attack happened about 30 minutes earlier.
Police said they were investigating whether race was a factor in the attack.
“This is an active investigation and we currently have no information to confirm the possible reasons,” says Dorsey.
Xiao Zhen Xie spoke with her daughter Dong-Mei Li using KPIX5 and helped her translate.
“Very traumatized, very scared and the eye keeps bleeding,” she said. “The right eye still can’t see and it’s still bleeding and we have something to absorb the bleeding.”
Meanwhile, Xiao’s nephew, Zhen Xie, has created a GoFundMe page to help him pay for his mounting medical bills.
“I am in awe of his bravery,” John Chen wrote. “It was she who defended herself from this unprovoked attack.”
Chen said his grandmother had two black eyes, one of which was still bleeding, and a swollen wrist.
“She was deeply affected mentally, physically and emotionally,” he wrote. “She also claimed that she was afraid to leave the house from now on. This traumatic event left her with PTSD.”
Chen said her grandmother survived cancer and had diabetes. “My heart goes out to all the other Asian elders who have also been seriously injured or killed in this wave of attacks against the Asian community,” he wrote.
Jenkins was charged with two counts of assault and two cases of elder abuse. It was not immediately clear if he had argued or hired an attorney to speak on his behalf.