A 70-year-old Asian American woman said she was punched in the face in an unprovoked attack earlier this month in Boston’s Chinatown.
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, was walking along Harrison Avenue after visiting a bakery when a man allegedly punched her in the face and left her with a black eye on April 2.
“He just walked up and punched,” she told NBC Boston. “My initial reaction was, ‘Run away from him as soon as possible,’ because I don’t want to have a second punch.”
The 70-year-old woman is a Somerville resident who has regularly visited Chinatown for more than 40 years. She shared her story on Tuesday during a virtual community meeting, which was organized to address the recent violence in the neighborhood.
The victim described the suspect to be a 5-foot-11, middle-aged white man.
Her daughter believes that most crimes against Asians go unreported because many in the Asian community choose not to speak up for a number of reasons including language barrier.
“Once this had happened to my mother, I had other relatives come forward and share their stories of being insulted, and spit on and assaulted,” she said.
“If you don’t report it, then you don’t have the numbers to prove that it’s happening,” she added. “You can’t track it, and if you don’t have the numbers and the stats to prove that this is happening, then how are you going to justify the funds that you would need to dedicate resources to address this problem?”
“If you never report it, then how do they know? They’ll never know,” the woman’s mother said, noting the importance of filing a police report.
The Boston Police detectives and the department’s Civil Rights Unit are investigating the case. Surveillance cameras around the area where the assault happened reportedly were not working at the time of the incident.
The police announced their plan to assign more Chinese-speaking officers in Chinatown during Tuesday’s virtual meeting.
The Asian American woman said that she does not want her attacker to end up in jail if he is found.
“If I see him, I will forgive him,” she said. “I will pray for him.”