Market Street is said to be one of the most iconic streets in downtown San Francisco. It's also where Filipino-Chinese Danilo Yu Chang, 59, experienced an attack in broad daylight last week— one of the many incidents of violence against Asian Americans seeing a rise in the US.
As Yu Chang was walking back to his office after his lunch break, someone attacked him from behind.
“Bigla na lang may tumulak sa akin, na pasubsob ako, nag-pass out agad ako kaya I don't know what happened. Then, pag-gising ko, duguan na ako,” Yu Chang said.
(Someone suddenly pushed me. I fell to the ground and passed out. I didn’t know what happened. And then when I woke up, I had blood all over.)
The suspect, 32-year-old Jorge Devis-Milton has been arrested and is facing multiple assault charges, as well as aggravated mayhem and battery.
As he did not get robbed, Yu Chang believes he was targeted simply because he’s Asian.
Yu Chang never thought Asians would be attacked in the Bay Area's diverse communities.
“I've lived here for 21 years, and I've been working in and around San Jose and San Francisco for all those years. I'm confident nothing will happen to me. Then all of a sudden this happened,” he said.
He added, “I want to bring awareness to the Filipino people here in America to be on the lookout.”
According to Stop AAPI (Asian Americans Pacific Islanders) Hate, name calling, shunning, and assault were among the nearly 3,000 hate incidents reported against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders all over the US over the last year.
This has been attributed to former US president Donald Trump's rhetoric last year calling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus."
Yu Chang believes there are more victims who haven’t spoken up and said it’s important the public hears from them.
“'Wag sila matakot lumantad. Hindi magiging aware ang mga tao na talagang totoo ito kasi sinasabi nila robbery lang ito di ba, just a simple mugging, pero minsan hate crime na, hindi pa nila nire-report,” said Yu Chang.
(They shouldn’t be scared to come out. Because people are not going to be aware that these are real. People say it could just be robbery, just a simple mugging. But sometimes, these are hate crimes. They’re just not reported.)
Yu Chang has decided to leave the Bay Area due to safety concerns for himself and for his family.
“I was just looking for a housing in Las Vegas. Wala ako makuha so I might move to Indiana, kung saan maliit ang chances for crime, it would be safer for me and my family, kasi natatakot din ako lumabas, na lumantad ako kasi people will know me, baka biglang gumanti,” he said.
(I was just looking for a housing in Las Vegas. I couldn’t find one so I might move to Indiana, where there are smaller chances for crime. It would be safer for me and my family because right now, I’m scared to even come out because people will know me and someone might retaliate.)
The community has stepped up to help Yu Chang following his traumatic ordeal through a GoFundME account, which has now raised over $81,000.
Read more on Balitang America