Sagar Tamang was getting a hot dog from a street vendor around 11 p.m. near the Fox Theater in Oakland last Saturday night when he says he suddenly felt something hit the back of his head. The blow rendered him unconscious.
The next day, Tamang woke up in the hospital, bruised and beaten and all of his belongings including wallet and phone were gone.
Tamang believes he was targeted because he is Nepalese and has a reason for speaking out.
"I need to be vocal about what happened to me so later on the younger people, or people from community, the Nepalese community can come forward and say oh yeah this happened to me too." He continued on to say "People will be able to relate. This is happening with a lot of Asian communities... this happens all the time."
Oakland police say there has been no determination if this is a hate crime, but tell ABC7 the investigation is ongoing.
Tamang's friend has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical bills since he will not be able to work as a rideshare driver for the next month.
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That friend, who is also from Nepal says while it may be hard to prove in the legal sense it was a hate crime she firmly believes the AAPI community are targets.
"Because we're Asian, people think we are easy to rob, easy to assault, easy to manipulate and do anything they want. If it's someone else, they wouldn't do that. He's a short Asian guy," says his friend, who did not want to be identified.
While the incident was scary, Tamang says it is not going to scare him from doing the things he loves.
"To be honest, I don't expect anything from this whole scenario. I'm going to live my life, everyone's going to live their life. But one thing is this has made me more stronger as a person who survived it." He continued to say "It happened to me, it could happen to anyone."