An elderly woman in San Francisco fought off an attacker on Wednesday, with both the woman and the assailant taken to a hospital after the incident. 

Xiao Zhen Xie, 76, told KPIX 5 in the Northern California city that she was waiting at a traffic light when a man allegedly punched her in her left eye. KPIX 5 described it as just the latest attack against an Asian American person in the city. Such attacks have been rising amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Xie fought back against the man with a nearby stick and, after authorities arrived at the scene, the man was taken away in a stretcher.

The woman’s daughter, Dong-Mei Li, told the outlet that her mother is “very traumatized” and her eye was still bleeding later on Wednesday. She has also been unable to eat and is scared to leave her senior retirement home.

Xie, a 26-year resident of San Francisco, told KPIX 5 that the attack was completely unprovoked.

She and the man were both taken to a hospital for treatment after the incident. Xie had returned to her home by Wednesday night.

KPIX 5 sports director Dennis O’Donnell tweeted video from the scene after the woman was attacked. It shows her face swollen and bruised as she cries. The man appears on a stretcher with injuries to his face.

“You bum, why did you hit me?” Xie says in the video.

San Francisco police told KPIX 5 that they are investigating the incident. They said that an 83-year-old Asian man was also identified as the victim of an attack, and a 39-year-old man is being investigated for both incidents.

Police later Thursday identified the 39-year-old man as Steven Jenkins in a statement to The Hill. 
Witnesses told the San Francisco Police Department that Jenkins was "involved in a physical altercation" at UN Plaza in the city approximately 30 minutes prior to allegedly assaulting the two individuals. 
He then allegedly assaulted the 83-year-old man and was pursued by a security guard. During the pursuit, police said he assaulted the woman. 
Police said the man was transported to an area hospital for a "prior medical condition." He was later booked at the San Francisco Jail on two charges of assault and two charges of elder abuse. 
Officers said in a statement to The Hill that they are "working to determine if racial bias was a motivating factor in the incident."

Xie’s family launched a GoFundMe for her to cover medical expenses following her attack. As of Thursday morning, it has raised nearly $64,000.

A recent study from California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that hate crimes against Asian Americans in 16 of the country’s largest cities have spiked nearly 150 percent amid the coronavirus pandemic. 


A shooting spree in Atlanta this week left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women. Atlanta police have said that it was too early to determine whether the shootings, which occurred at massage parlors, constitute a hate crime.