An Asian man was punched in the face in Los Angeles’ Chinatown on Friday in what witness described as an unprovoked attack.
The incident occurred on North Broadway in Los Angeles, in front of the dragon gate on June 16, Lynn Nguyen, a librarian at the Chinatown Library, told NextShark.
The broad daylight attack
Nguyen was out on her day off to walk her dog when she heard the attacker screaming from across the street. The assailant reportedly threw their things on the ground and ran towards the Asian elder who was only “walking by” before punching him in the face, according to the caption on her Instagram post about the incident.
Nguyen says that she immediately came to help the victim by screaming at the attacker to “stop” right before they threw another punch at him.
As she was trying to call 911, the attacker allegedly started chasing her across the street, yelling “I’m going to kill you.” She noted that she ran for her life and even threw herself on the street “because there were so many elders on the sidewalk.”
A man, which Nguyen noted was her neighbor, helped her by distracting the attacker. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also found her on the street and assisted her with the situation.
“The sheriff department saw me throw myself into moving traffic as I was being chased,” Nguyen told NextShark. “… They ran so fast and as a retired runner, there was no way anyone else could have outran them.”
The attacker reportedly went on “another rampage” and started hitting cars that were driving by.
Apprehended, but the victim declines to press charges
The Sheriff’s Department officers, who were only passing by and were out of their jurisdiction, eventually handcuffed the attacker and placed them in the backseat of their car as they waited for Los Angeles Police Department officers to arrive.
According to Nguyen’s post, the victim was “hurt, scared, and hardly spoke any English.” He also did not press any charges and “left the scene with a huge bruise on his face.”
Nguyen, who works with the Chinatown teen council to “conduct a lot of programs” to support the elders in their community, told NextShark, “This hit home for me because this elder could’ve been a grandparent to my students or one of the people we deliver produce to. It hurt me so much to see him get assaulted.”
The LAPD officers arrived at the scene 45 minutes later, Nguyen noted in the post. They informed her that the attacker would only receive aCode 5150, which would only allow law enforcement to hold someone exhibiting distress or mental psychosis for up to 72 hours – or three days.
Officers also informed Nguyen that only the battery victim could press charges against the attacker, telling her that this “happens all the time.”
When asked if she had reached out to the authorities since the incident, Nguyen said that Hong Lee, the director at Seniors Fight Back, helped her contact the LAPD and noted that they have yet to give any updates regarding the case.
“To be honest, I’m still so upset from the whole incident,” Nguyen added, “so I don’t think I’ll be able to ask the right questions when calling LAPD. Hong has been very supportive since she understands how the system works.”
In her post, Nguyen pleaded with those who may know the victim to encourage him to speak out and press charges against the attacker, noting that the victim also needed medical attention as he was punched with serious force in the face.
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