Asian man speaks out after he’s brutally attacked while waiting for bus in San Francisco

Surveillance footage shows Rong Xin Liao, 84, getting kicked by a stranger

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Friday 26 March 2021 19:23 GMT
<p>Rong Xin Liao, 84, reveals how he was attacked while waiting for the bus in San Francisco, California</p>

Rong Xin Liao, 84, reveals how he was attacked while waiting for the bus in San Francisco, California

An 84-year-old Asian man has spoken out after he was kicked out of his walker by a random attack one year ago.

Rong Xin Liao was waiting at a bus stop in the San Francisco, California, suburb of Tenderloin on the morning of 20 February when he was viciously attacked, he revealed to ABC 7.

"I didn't do anything to him," Mr Liao told the publication from his assisted living facility.

Surveillance footage shared by ABC 7 shows Mr Liao sitting in his walker on the sidewalk while he waits for the bus to arrive. A young man then appears and starts running towards Mr Liao before jumping to kick the elderly man in the shoulder.

Mr Liao and his walker fell to the ground from the kick and footage shows his head hitting the sidewalk.

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The attack caused Mr Liao to black out and he had to receive six stitches due to his injuries. He also stayed in the hospital for four nights to recover.

One year later, Mr Liao has spoken out against the attack following a significant rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans across the US. Mr Liao confessed that the attack he experienced has made him afraid to step outside.

"Every day there is crime in San Francisco," Mr Liao said. “Old people have to be careful."

The suspected perpetrator from the incident was Eric Ramos-Hernandez, 23, who was identified following the release of the surveillance footage. He was arrested and still moving through the court process.

Mr Ramos-Hernandez was next expected to appear in court on 11 April. No motive behind the attack has been revealed.

Due to Covid-19, Mr Liao will not be able to attend the court hearing even though he wanted to be there.

"I want a very strict punishment ... but I don't want him to be executed," he told ABC 7.

The United States has experienced a rise of hate crimes directed at Asian Americans in the last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 3,800 anti-Asian crimes were reported to Stop AAPI Hate last year, according to data released by the reporting forum on Tuesday. Women reported hate crimes 2.3 times more than men, the report added.

The issue of racism against Asian Americans was brought into the spotlight with the Atlanta shootings on 16 March, when six women of Asian origin were among eight people shot dead.

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