United Kingdom

Asian dad with stroller punched 14 times during unprovoked attack outside San Francisco supermarket

An Asian dad was punched in the head 14 times in an unprovoked attack while pushing his toddler's stroller through San Francisco in broad daylight.

The 36-year-old father, who identified himself as only 'Bruce', was walking his baby in Mission bay neighborhood of San Francisco on Friday afternoon when a man came up to him and punched him from behind. 

The 36-year-old father is seen on surveillance footage getting knocked to the ground and blocking the 14 blows to his head and back as his son's stroller slowly rolls away.

When his attacker backs off, the father is seen protectively running to his son's stroller while pedestrians and customers look on in shock.  

'My sense of security has been shattered,' Bruce told ABC 7 News about the random assault afterwards. 

'I was right on the ground and in that exact second I was trying to shield my head and prevent any worse injuries,' he said. 'I couldn't protect my child. I was on the floor and he was in a stroller that was slowly rolling away, so it's definitely very scary as a parent.'

The 36-year-old father(pictured)  is seen on surveillance footage getting knocked to the ground in an unprovoked attack with his one year-old son's stroller just feet away 

The suspected attacker has been named as Sidney Hammond, 26, and was out on the streets despite allegedly shoving a man onto train tracks just a month earlier

'My sense of security has been shattered,' the victim named Bruce, pictured, said afterwards - and said he feared the assault was racially-motivated

Police arrested 26-year-old Sidney Hammond following the attack and charged him with assault, false imprisonment and child endangerment.

The baby was unharmed in the attack.  

Hammond's arrest comes less than a month after he was arrested and freed on bail for allegedly shoplifting from the same mini market he attacked Bruce in front of and for pushing someone onto train tracks, ABC 7 News reported.  

Police said the attack on the 36-year-old father appeared to be random and Hammond and Bruce did not exchange words.   

Bruce told ABC 7 that the thought of the attack being racially motivated did cross his mind.   

Although the attack was not charged as a hate crime, assaults on Asian-Americans in major U.S. cities have been on the rise, leading to the recent 'Stop Asian hate' movement that has held several rallies across the country and spread awareness online. 

The group Stop AAPI Hate - the acronym that stand for Asian-American and Pacific Islander - released a report in March that said there were 3,795 incidents reported to the group between March 19, 2020 and the end of February 2021.

The 36-year-old father was attacked in front of Gus's Community Market (pictured), located in the Mission Bay neighborhood in San Francisco on Friday

In April, the senate passed a bipartisan anti-discrimination bill to address the rise in hate crimes against Asians in the U.S.

Aggravated assaults have risen by 55 per cent in San Francisco between February and March, from 11 attacks to 17, according to statistics from the city's police department.  

Meanwhile, data released in March by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism showed that hate crimes against Asian-Americans surged 50% between 2019 and 2020 in San Francisco, from six attacks in 2019 to nine attacks in 2020. 

In total, Anti-Asian hate crimes surged 145% in America's largest cities in 2020, while overall hate crimes dropped six percent, the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism reported. 

On Tuesday, two Asian American women - one of them 84-years-old - were stabbed in broad daylight on a busy San Francisco street by a 54-year-old man, the New York Times reported.  

Patrick Thompson was charged with attempted murder and the women were treated for their non-life threatening wounds.  

Police said Thompson's motive for the attack were unclear, the New York Times reported. 

And in March,76 year-old Xiao Zhen Xie was filmed fighting back against a homeless man who attacked her on Market Street in Downtown San Francisco.

She was left with a black eye in the wake of the assault, with Steven Jenkins, 39, subsequently charged over the assault. 

Over $1 million was raised for Xie in the wake of the assault, with the elderly woman's family announcing the cash would be used to help tackle anti-Asian racism.  

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