The daughter of an assault victim in Chicago is speaking up on the rising number of attacks against Asians because she believes people should not be silent anymore.
Kaylee Cong’s 60-year-old father was attacked from behind as he was walking by the east side of North Broadway near West Ainslie Street at about 11 p.m. on March 20, reports the Chicago Tribune.
According to Cong, her dad was hit on the left side of his head and froze for a moment as he believed the man who punched him kept walking for about 100 feet in front of him.
The victim took a photo using his cellphone but was able to capture only a silhouette. When he turned around, Cong’s father saw another man with a baseball bat standing in front of him on the sidewalk.
“I’m calling 911,” her father yelled while placing his phone to his ear. The two men stared at each other as the elderly man continued walking while avoiding them and then proceeded to go home.
Cong would not learn about the terrifying incident until the very next day when he explained why his head was throbbing in pain. Using her nail salon’s Instagram account, Cong posted her dad’s account of what happened along with the hashtag “#stopasianhate.”
“I still think that my dad is not the first victim because you know how our Asian parents, Vietnamese parents, like if something like this happened to them, I think most of them what they do is they … keep silent,” Cong noted. “Our generation, I don’t think that we should keep silent.”
Cong’s father shared that he was not able to clearly see the first man, except for his black clothing. He was at least able to make out that the second man did not appear Asian. Both of them were reportedly taller and bigger than him.
Cong’s father was discouraged from calling the police due to his limited English. He also refused to go to the hospital despite Cong urging him to as he is uninsured. He also did not want to become a financial burden.
Cong pointed out the complicated process of filing a police report and waiting for authorities to get in touch with them for updates.
Since half a day had already passed since the attack, Cong called 311 to file her report. When she was transferred to a line that no one picked up, she dialed 911 but was reportedly told to call back when she got home. She dialed 911 again at 6:30 p.m., but got transferred to another line that wasn’t answered.
Cong then filled out a police report online about 8:30 p.m. The next day, she was informed that the report could not be completed for classifying the alleged attack as a simple assault instead of a battery. Reports of battery, which involve physical contact, require a statement to a police officer, a representative from Chicago police clarified. Cong, who didn’t know about such distinction, said she missed the email telling her to take further steps to complete the report.
In an interview with NBC Chicago, Cong said he hopes her dad’s story will bring more awareness and spark change.
“We have to like speak up. We have to stand up, and we have to make it stop. We can not let it go on like this no more,” she said.
Cong, who wants the incident be investigated as a hate crime, believes her dad was intentionally targeted.
“They didn’t say a word. He didn’t say a word,” she said. “It was a hate crime. There’s no way you could try to attack somebody when they did nothing to you. He was just walking down the street.”
Following the attack, hundreds of people gathered on Friday evening at Horner Park, with people condemning racism and violence against Asian Americans.
Cong’s father is currently recovering from the blow to the head while the incident remains under investigation at the 20th District office.
Feature image via NBC Chicago