Respect Equality

Asian woman who bravely fought her attacker to donate nearly a million dollars raised for her

Story at a glance

  • A GoFundMe initially established to cover Xie’s medical expenses has raised more than $935,000.
  • Her grandson said the family will be donating the funds toward fighting racism against Asian Americans.
  • “She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than Her. This my grandma, grandpa, and our family’s decision,” her grandson said.

An elderly Asian woman who made headlines after fighting off a man who allegedly assaulted her on a San Francisco street plans to donate more than $900,000 raised for her through a GoFundMe to combat racism against Asian Americans.

Xiao Zhen Xie, 75, was waiting to cross a street last Wednesday morning when Steven Jenkins, 39, allegedly walked up and punched her. Xie reportedly fought back by picking up a wooden plank and striking the man across the face. 


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Video of the aftermath shows Xie with a swollen face berating the suspect who was being taken away on a stretcher by paramedics. Jenkins is also accused of assaulting an 83-year-old Vietnamese American man, Ngoc Pham, just before the incident involving Xie. 

He faces two charges of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and two charges of elder abuse. Police said he was taken to a local hospital for an unrelated, prior medical condition. 

Xie’s grandson John Chen later established a GoFundMe with a goal of $50,000 to cover her medical bills, which has raised more than $935,000 over the course of a week. More than 31,00 people have made donations. 

Chen told CBS San Francisco the family will be donating the funds toward fighting hate against Asian Americans. It’s not clear exactly where the funds will be donated at this time. 

“When we visited our grandma yesterday and today her overall mental and physical health has improved. Her eye is no longer swelled to the point of not being able to open it. She is now starting to feel optimistic again and is in better spirits” Chen wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page Tuesday.

“She also stated multiple times to donate all the funds generated in this GoFundMe back to the Asian American community to combat racism. She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than Her. This my grandma, grandpa, and our family’s decision,” Chen wrote. 

Meanwhile, an online fundraiser to cover Pham’s medical expenses has gone well beyond its $25,000 goal and raised close to $300,000. 

The attacks came as crimes and hate incidents against Asian Americans have sharply risen over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. 

A shooting spree last week at three Atlanta massage parlors left eight dead, six of whom were Asian women. Authorities are investigating whether the shootings constitute a hate crime.


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