Woman Who Fought Back During Attack to Donate Nearly $1M Raised for Her to Combat Anti-Asian Racism
Xiao Zhen Xie — a 76-year-old woman who fought back against her alleged assailant during a violent attack in San Francisco — aims to donate nearly $1 million raised for her to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Her family, who initially started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for her medical bills, announced their revised plans in a statement shared on the fundraiser's page on Monday.
"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," Xie's family said.
"All the hatred that is happening towards the AAPI community has deeply angered and saddened our family. The AAPI community is bleeding from this violence and hatred. We as a community cannot stay silent nor be silenced anymore," their statement continued. "That is why our family plans to donate ALL funds generated in this GoFundMe to help the AAPI community recover, and combat racism."
The family also thanked those who have been donating and supporting the AAPI community "during these times of extreme hate and ignorance," as well as gave an update on Xie condition since the attack.
"When we visited our grandma yesterday and today her overall mental and physical health has improved," her grandson, John Chen, shared. "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."
"She said we must not summit to racism and we must fight to the death if necessary," Chen wrote. "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 is my grandma, grandpa, and our family's decision," he added. "We hope everyone can understand our decision."
As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe has raised over $912,000.
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Xie was attacked on Wednesday morning at an intersection on Market Street. She previously told KPIX5 through a translator that she was standing at a traffic light when a man came up to her and punched her eye.
Xie said she fought back by picking up a wooden board and hitting the man.
Her alleged assailant was identified by the San Francisco Police Department as 39-year-old Stephen Jenkins, who was transported to a local hospital for "a prior medical condition" and later arrested, according to a press release.
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Police said Jenkins had been involved in a physical altercation with an 83-year-old man just 30 minutes before to his alleged attack on Xie.
Matt Dorsey, a spokesperson for the SFPD, previously told PEOPLE that the suspect had been badly beat up prior to allegedly attacking Xie.
"The guy was badly beaten in a previous assault," Dorsey said.
Online jail records show that Jenkins has been charged with two counts of assault likely to produce great bodily injury, two counts of battery with serious bodily injury, and two counts of elder abuse.
It's unclear if Jenkins has obtained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.