A Nepali man was brutally attacked, robbed and left unconscious while grabbing food after work in Oakland, California.
Sagar Tamang, 25, said he was attacked from behind while grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor at around 11 p.m. in front of the Fox Theater on Saturday.
Tamang reportedly felt a blow to the back of his head and was knocked unconscious. He was taken to the Highland Hospital Emergency Department, where he was treated for level-one trauma.
The 25-year-old woke up the next day with a beaten and swollen face from the assault. Tamang said he was left in an alley with most of his belongings missing, including his phone, wallet, boots, pants and coat.
“I need to be vocal about what happened to me so later on, younger people or people from the Napelese community can come forward,” Tamang said.
Tamang will not be able to go back to work as a rideshare driver for the next month. Bimala Thapa, Tamang’s girlfriend, has created a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical bills. With a goal of $30,000, the fundraiser has received nearly $13,000 in donations so far.
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“These hate crimes need to stop,” Thapa wrote. “Our hearts go out to all the people who have been affected, injured and killed by this wave of racist crimes toward the Asian community. We’re originally from Nepal and longtime residents from San Francisco who just moved to the East bay. We have the right to feel safe where we live without constant fear. We will be using the funds for medical bills, neurological surgery, trauma therapy and lost wages from his job.” “Because we are Asian, people think we are easy to rob, easy to assault, easy to manipulate,” Thapa told ABC7 News.
The assault is currently not considered a hate crime and is under investigation by the Oakland Police Department. No arrests have been made as of this writing.
“We are trying to see if some videos are available but also, we are encouraging people that if they have any information, please help us and work with the police,” Carl Chan, the president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, told KTVU. “I think we all feel strongly that we want to give him that support. So, I just want to tell him and his family that people do care and we all want to help as well.”
Chan, who believes the incident is a hate crime, said community leaders are discussing with the FBI and planning town hall meetings in Oakland and San Francisco to talk about how to better protect the Asian American and Pacific Islander community against attacks.
“I think people are thinking, ‘Oh maybe things are getting better,’ but it’s not getting much better,” Chan added. “Unfortunately, what we are realizing, there are so many incidents that many victims, they are afraid or they don’t want to report it. So, what we are seeing is actually only a small fraction of the cases that have already happened.”