Chinese Grandma Who Fought Off Attacker to Donate Over $900K from GoFundMe to AAPI Community

Chinese Grandma Who Fought Off Attacker to Donate Over $900K from GoFundMe to AAPI Community
Maina Chen
By Maina Chen
March 23, 2021
Xiao Zhen Xie, the 75-year-old elderly woman who fought back an attacker in San Francisco, has decided to donate all her GoFundMe money back to the Asian American community.
What happened: Last Wednesday, Xie was leaning by a light pole around Market Street when a man punched her in the face unprovoked.
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  • In the footage captured by Dennis O’Donnell, a Sports Director for KPIX, Xie fought back against the attacker with a wooden stick. He was handcuffed to a stretcher when officers took him away.
  • The assailant was discovered to be Steven Jenkins, 39, and was connected to a separate elderly attack that day, targeting Ngoc Pham, an 83-year-old man who was shopping for groceries in that area.
  • Ngoc suffered cuts, bruises, a fractured nose, and was recommended to get an MRI scan for neck bone fractures. The Community Youth Center of San Francisco (CYCSF) also set up a GoFundMe to cover his medical bills, having raised over $279,000 of its $25,000 goal as of this writing.
“Combat racism”: In the latest update on Xie’s GoFundMe, Xie, her husband and the family came to the decision to donate all the funds “back to the Asian American community to combat racism.”
  • Xie insisted repeatedly on the decision, as her grandson and GoFundMe’s organizer, John Chen, stated she believes “the issue is bigger than her.”
  • Xie’s injuries included heavily bruised black eyes, one that continued to bleed profusely, a swollen wrist, and according to her daughter, Dong-Mei Li, unstable mental health from the trauma of the incident.
  • Last Thursday, Chen stated, “she hopes the younger generation of Asian Americans can all stand up for one another, and hope they can stick up for the elderly.”
  • Her eyes are deswelling to the point that she can open them again, and she is starting to “feel optimistic again.”
  • Chen added, “She said we must not [submit] to racism and we must fight to the death if necessary.”
  • It has raised over $897,000 of its $50,000 goal as of this writing.
Giving back: Throughout the year, there have been a few instances of elders who were the target of attacks and refused or returned donations.
  • In February 2020, an elderly Chinese man who was robbed and assaulted on the street while collecting recyclables in the Bayview neighborhood refused any help.
  • On July 17, 2020, an 89-year-old woman who was set on fire in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and ignited the #TheyCan’tBurnUsAll movement, thanked everyone who contributed to the GoFundMe but returned all the funds.
Feature Image via John Chen (left), @DennisKPIX (right)
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