An Asian woman — who, at the moment, only wants to be identified as "Ms. Lee'' — was violently knocked to the ground and held at gunpoint while walking back to her niece's Sunset District residence from dinner with a friend. Her handbag and jewelry, which included a $16K Rolex, were stolen during the attack.
It's become an all too familiar and demoralizing headline to type these days: An Asian [Man or Woman] Was [Robbed and/or Attacked] Somewhere in San Francisco. Anti-Asian hate crimes increased by nearly 150% in 2020 — an upward trend of violence and bullying against Asian Americans that’s continued into this year. And the battery of on one Ms. Lee stands as more uncomfortable, concerning evidence of the ongoing attacks against Asian Americans in the United States.
𝗔𝗦𝗜𝗔𝗡 𝗪𝗢𝗠𝗔𝗡 𝗥𝗢𝗕𝗕𝗘𝗗 𝗢𝗙 𝗝𝗘𝗪𝗘𝗟𝗥𝗬 𝗔𝗧 𝗚𝗨𝗡𝗣𝗢𝗜𝗡𝗧 𝗔𝗙𝗧𝗘𝗥 𝗕𝗘𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪𝗘𝗗 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗠𝗜𝗟𝗘𝗦 𝗜𝗡 𝗦𝗔𝗡 𝗙𝗥𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗜𝗦𝗖𝗢:— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) April 16, 2021
This woman wants to be called Ms. Lee. She was having dim sum in the Richmond 10/20 when...
Initially reported by ABC7, Lee was unknowingly followed back to the Sunset by at least two individuals after dining with a friend at a Richmond District dim sum restaurant. Footage of the attack and robbery shows a white SUV racing down an otherwise slow neighborhood street — at one point almost striking two people walking across a cross-section — before doubling back to single-out Ms. Lee.
The footage (that should be noted contains content some might find disturbing and hard to watch) shows Lee being knocked to the ground by one assailant; the male-looking criminal can also be observed holding her at gunpoint before robbing her of a handbag. While Lee’s still stricken and in shock, what looks to be a second attacker returns to steal her jewelry — including among Lee’s pieces a $16K Rolex watch.
"It really changed her so much, every time she talks about it, she cries," says her longtime friend Kathie Mar — who ate with Lee her at the Richmond District dim sum restaurant earlier that day, eventually leaving the eatery around 1:30 p.m. — to the news station’s Dion Lim.
District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar also commented on the increasingly regular attacks on Asian Americans in the city to the ABC7 anchor.
"Everyone in the neighborhood thinks Sunset, Richmond is for families so everybody...no crime here," Gordon Mar, whose district includes the Sunset neighborhoods, tells Lim. "But we're hearing more and more so, these past few years. [Mrs. Lee] is definitely afraid to go out on her own now, to get in and out of her car it's scary."
A resident of the Sunset herself, Kathie Mar wants to help break the stigma that Asian Americans are less likely to speak out against violent crimes done against them than other cohorts. That said: Given the level of trauma the victim has suffered from the attack, Kathie Mar is more than happy to help megaphone Lee’s story while she heals.
"Whatever I can do to let the neighborhood know…[to let] San Francisco know," Lee's "dear friend" concludes.
SFPD is still actively working on the case; Kathie Mar and Lee are hoping her attackers get applicable jail time.