EXCLUSIVE: Asian man punched in eye, racially abused in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Just days before Lunar New Year, a Thai and Chinese American man is living in fear after being attacked and yelled a racist insult near City Hall. To make matters worse, this wasn't this first time he has been attacked.

Jesse, who requested we use only his first name, was picking up his marriage license Friday afternoon and walking home to Japantown when he suspected someone was following him.

He said a man then hit him in the ear called him a "stupid Asian" and said he wanted money. After knocking Jesse's phone to the ground, the man then punched him in the eye. One day later you can see the swelling and bruise start to deepen along his left eye. Jesse says his vision is still a bit blurry at times.

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What's even more frightening was that in 2019 Jesse says he was stabbed in an attempted robbery on his birthday outside the Safeway along Market Street. He showed us photos from the hospital, the police report and his wound which thankfully was not deep.

SFPD recently reported a 567% increase in 2021 over 2020 in hate crimes toward Asian Americans.

Jesse says this latest attack was traumatizing.

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"All the emotion from 2019 when I got stabbed came back again.

I just want...to walk on the street without fear we can walk on the street. Like normal. Why do we have to hate?"

Jesse says he is also exceptionally grateful to the group of 5 or possibly 6 people who also tried to shield him from the attacker. He is encouraging Asian Americans to be on alert at all times.

SFPD is investigating his case.

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