The attack on Ms. Xie was one of several that was at least partially captured on video.
Her attacker, who the police identified as Steven Jenkins, 39, first attacked an 83-year-old Vietnamese man, Ngoc Pham, who was shopping for groceries on March 17th. According to the police, the attacker was then followed by a security guard ;; He beat Ms. Xie while he was being persecuted.
Video footage of the immediate aftermath of the attack shows Ms. Xie holding an ice pack in front of her face and telling officials and bystanders about her attacker. “A big blow hit me,” she said in Cantonese and wailed desperately.
“Investigators are working to determine whether racial prejudice was a motivating factor in the incident,” the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement last week. The police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
According to his attorney, Eric McBurney, Mr. Jenkins has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him, which included ill-treatment and assault by the elderly. Mr. Jenkins is being held without bail.
“It was difficult for the Asian-American community – of course I understand,” said McBurney on Thursday. “Those older, first-generation immigrants who give up the world to give their children the American experience – people like that should be honored.”
Mr. McBurney added that he would provide more details about Mr. Jenkins and the March 17th events in the near future. “As more information is exchanged,” he said, “people will see that this is more complex.”
The day after the attack, Mr. Chen set up the fundraiser on GoFundMe. He wrote that Ms. Xie “was severely affected mentally, physically, and emotionally,” adding that she was “afraid to step out of her home from now on.”