Ray Hsu, a poet and professor at the University of British Columbia, suffered a random attack in Vancouver last week. To make matters worse, bystanders apparently ignored him as he called for help.
The attack occurred in the area of Main Street and West 25th Avenue on the broad daylight of a Thursday afternoon. According to Hsu, he was getting off a bus when someone suddenly shoved him from behind.
The “Anthropy” writer told Global News
, “This is someone who I don’t know and have never seen before. I had a feeling that something might happen.”
Hsu then took a picture of the man, who immediately turned violent:
“This person saw me taking the photo, knocked the camera out of my hands and started punching me in the face.”
The man allegedly punched Hsu repeatedly, but despite the latter’s plea for help, pedestrians just didn’t seem to care. He said it was “astonishing” that people just walked by:
“I kept on asking for help, because I thought that somebody was going to help.”
When the attacker left the scene, a bystander told Hsu that “Everything’s going to be okay, he’s gone now.” Unfortunately, he turned Hsu down when asked to be a witness and left.
“I can hope that I would jump in, either to intervene or call 911, and I can hope, having gone through this experience myself, that maybe I would be more likely to act. But maybe people are afraid. Maybe they start to question themselves and wonder, ‘do I know enough about the context in order to jump in or do anything?’ And maybe that’s what freezes people.”
The attacker already turned himself in to the Vancouver Police Department, while Hsu pressed corresponding charges.