Asian man, 84, who was kicked out of his seated walker in random attack in San Francisco says he is too scared to go outside because of the surge in hate crimes
- Rong Xin Liao, 84, was waiting for a bus in San Francisco in February 2020 when man ran up to him and knocked him to the ground with a kick
- Eric Ramos-Hernandez, 23, was arrested and charged in connection with attack
- Liao required six stitches to close a wound on his head and spent four nights in the hospital
- Liao says he is afraid to go outside amid wave of anti-Asian hate crimes
An 84-year-old Asian man was sitting on his walker waiting for a bus in San Francisco last year when, seemingly out of nowhere, a stranger took a run at him and viciously kicked him to the ground.
The unprovoked attack was caught on video and left the victim, Rong Xin Liao, with a scar on his head.
Now, more than a year later, Liao says he is afraid to step outside his home amid a surge of violent hate crimes and harassment targeting Asian-Americans across the US since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rong Xin Liao, 74, was waiting for a bus in San Francisco in February 2020 when a man ran up to him and knocked him to the ground with a kick
Surveillance video captured the shocking attack that took place on February 20, 2020, in the Tenderloin district
The suspect, 23-year-old Eric Ramos-Hernandez, ran off after the attack, leaving Liao unconscious and bleeding on the ground. The suspect was later arrested
‘Every day there is crime in San Francisco,’ Liao told KGO-TV through a translator. ‘Old people have to be careful’.
Liao’s ordeal began on the morning February 20, 2020, as he was waiting for the 31 Balboa bus near the intersection of Eddy and Leavenworth streets in the Tenderloin district.
Surveillance video from across the street shows the senior sitting in his walker when a man who was later identified as 23-year-old Eric Ramos-Hernandez runs up to him, kicks him to the ground and flees.
Liao required six stitches to close a wound on his head and spent four nights in the hospital
Liao said he lost consciousness, sustained a head injury that required six stitches and spent four nights in the hospital.
‘I didn’t do anything to him,’ the man said of his attacker.
Ramos-Hernandez was eventually arrested and his criminal case is still winding its way through the courts. His next hearing is scheduled for April 14.
Liao, who lives in an assisted living facility, said he wanted to be present during the hearing, but it will not be possible because of COVID restrictions.
No motive has been found behind the attack on Liao, who said he wants a severe punishment for Ramos-Hernandez.
San Francisco has emerged as one of the nation’s hotbeds of violence against Asian seniors.
Liao now says he is afraid to go outside amid a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes
Earlier this month, a 70-year-old Asian woman was attacked by a white man in his 30s, but she was able to fight him off with a wooden stick and ended up putting her assailant in the hospital.
In New York City, an elderly Sri Lankan man was punched in the face and a 25-year-old Asian woman was urinated on in two separate incidents that occurred just days apart in the subway.