Chinatown merchant fights back against alleged assaulter with bamboo stick

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A man, already on probation for aggravated assault, was arrested again Sunday after police say he committed the same crime. His elderly victim fought back.

Charles Liu recalls what little was said before he was punched in the face. He says Thomas Baker walked into the store Sunday and started throwing hats onto the ground.

When the 86-year-old confronted Baker, he says he was punched. Through a translator, Liu told ABC7 News he decided to grab a bamboo Kung-Fu stick from a sales display.

"Because he was mad, he was really mad," Liu said.

The interpreter said after Baker hit him, Liu got really mad and went for the stick and started hitting him back.

Liu says Baker also had a knife, which he dropped before running out of the store. Police caught him a few blocks away.

"He's lucky. He's really lucky. The guy could have probably overpowered him and I certainly would not have handled it that way," said Tane Chang, owner of The Wok Shop.

Those at the Chinatown Merchant's Association say crimes against the store owners happen daily and are on the rise. It's leading to a lot of frustration.

"Some of them, they're feisty. They'll fight back for their things," said Betty Louie of the Chinatown Merchants Association. "They're sick and tired of being victimized."

But police warn against taking things into your own hands.
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