I think we can all be in agreement that any fit 39-year-old man who attacks a 76-year-old woman deserves severe punishment.
The thing is, that punishment usually takes time, if it happens at all. The assailant has to be apprehended. He has to work his way through the court system and either plead guilty or be convicted in a jury trial. Then, he’ll be going to prison — hopefully for quite some time, but who knows?
In the case of Steven Jenkins, 39, that punishment began instantly, all because he allegedly targeted the wrong 76-year-old woman.
According to KPIX-TV, Xiao Zhen Xie was attacked on Market Street in San Francisco on Wednesday morning.
Through her daughter as an interpreter, Xie said she was waiting to cross the street when, all of a sudden, a man sucker-punched her by her left eye.
Witnesses told KPIX the woman began “pummeling” the man. In a video posted to social media later, she was seen holding a stick; it was unclear from the report whether she had used it to beat the attacker.
“You bum, why did you hit me?” witnesses said the woman asked in Chinese.
After he was thoroughly pummeled, the woman apparently turned to the crowd, shaking her stick in the air and sobbing.
“This bum, he hit me,” Xie said, repeating: “He hit me, this bum.”
As it so happens, the channel’s sports director, Dennis O’Donnell, was by the scene and caught the aftermath, with Jenkins handcuffed to a stretcher, his face bloodied.
Just came upon an attack on an elderly Asian woman on Market Street San Francisco. Effort I got more details pic.twitter.com/5o8r0eeHE2
— Dennis O’Donnell (@DennisKPIX) March 17, 2021
Xie, holding an ice pack to her face, was still screaming at Jenkins.
“The woman said that she was hit,” O’Donnell said.
“She attacked back. From what I could see, she wanted more of the guy on the stretcher and the police were holding her back.”
Both were taken to the hospital for treatment, although only one in handcuffs.
According to police, Xie was the third individual Jenkins had attacked; he’d been in a physical altercation at U.N. Plaza a half-hour before he allegedly assaulted an 83-year-old Vietnamese man, Ngoc Pham. Someone told a security guard about the assault on Pham and he pursued Jenkins.
The guard restrained Jenkins after Xie had managed to subdue him.
Both of the assault victims were of Asian descent, which has raised questions as to whether the attacks were racially motivated.
San Francisco Police Make Arrest in Market Street Aggravated Assaults
— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) March 18, 2021
A statement from San Francisco police said they “are working to determine if racial bias was a motivating factor in the incident.”
“We have to do our job and we have to investigate these cases with all resources brought to bear and we need to make arrests, and we’ve done that,” San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said.
As for Xie, her daughter said she’s injured, although not critically.
“Very traumatized, very scared and this eye is still bleeding,” her daughter, Dong-Mei Li, told KPIX. “The right eye still cannot see anything and still bleeding and we have something to absorb the bleeding.”
As for how she managed to pummel the attacker, Li said “she found the stick around the area and fought back.”
Her daughter said she was unable to eat as well.
“As you can see, she is extremely terrified,” Xie’s grandson, John Chen, said. “She’s terrified to even step out.”
Whatever the case, the point is that Jenkins won’t be able to step out for a while. After being treated at the hospital, he was booked on two charges of elder abuse and two charges of assault likely to produce great bodily injury.
According to Heavy, the assault charges could land Jenkins in prison for up to four years, and elder abuse can also carry prison time.
We don’t know his motives and he hasn’t been found guilty of a crime. However, if guilty, Jenkins got the justice he deserved by picking on the wrong woman. He’ll get a lot more justice, too.
As for Xie, we pray for her family and her recovery.
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