Chui Fong was waiting outside of a grocery store in downtown San Francisco last Tuesday when a man came from behind her and lunged a combat-style knife into her side. Security footage of the attack also shows another 65-year-old Asian woman, who has not been publicly identified, being stabbed. The knife broke off, and remained lodged inside of Fong’s torso until doctors removed it, according to reporting from KGO-TV. The alleged attacker has been identified by authorities as 54-year-old Patrick Thompson.
Fong was rushed to a nearby hospital where she underwent surgery. Now, she and the other stabbing victim are recovering. After the horrific event, Fong’s grandchildren set up a GoFundMe to help pay her medical bills and support organizations combating the surge in anti-Asian hate.
“My grandma is your grandma,” Victoria Eng, Fong’s granddaughter, wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page. “She is the epitome of strength and resilience. Your support has meant the world to our family.”
Eng also wrote that they offered to donate some money to the unidentified 65-year-old woman who was also attacked, but her family politely declined. According to the fundraiser page, Fong is still in the ICU but is expected to leave soon.
Thompson has been charged with two counts of premeditated attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of elder abuse with enhancements for great bodily injury, great bodily injury on elders, and personal use of a deadly weapon, per Chesa Boudin, the San Francisco district attorney. His charges could carry a possible life sentence.
“Although my grandma doesn’t speak much English, she wants to thank everybody!!” Eng said in one of the latest GoFundMe updates. “Hopefully she will be transferring out of the ICU soon and continuing on the road to recovery.”
The attack on Fong and the other elderly Asian woman comes during an onslaught of violence against members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community in the U.S. Anti-Asian hate crimes have nearly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released Thursday by Stop AAPI Hate. The organization largely blames the spate of attacks on racist and bigoted rhetoric surrounding COVID. Physical assaults now account for almost one-fifth of all anti-Asian hate crimes reported, according to the organization.
“These Asian hate crimes need to stop,” Eng wrote on GoFundMe. “Our hearts go out to all those who have been injured, killed, or affected by this wave of racist crimes toward the Asian community. San Francisco is my home and my grandma’s home. We need to feel safe where we live and not in constant fear.”