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'I Was Fearful To Go Outside': Woman Recalls Asian American Hate Crime Against Her As More Incidents Are Being Reported

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council says since the pandemic began, 250 hate incidents and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported in Los Angeles County, but they believe there are many more that have gone unreported.

"He told me to go back to Asia," one woman, Hong Lee, said about her experience. "This was then followed by two minutes of derogatory terms."

Hong Lee is describing the frightening encounter she had with a man back in August while she was standing in line at a restaurant in Pico-Union.

The enraged man began a verbal assault after she turned down an offer to have lunch with him and told him she was married. He hurled sexist and racist insults at Lee, who started to record the incident out of fear.

"I had severe PTSD, insomnia, I was fearful to go outside after my attack. I was asking for help from the patrons and employees around me, but they didn't help me."

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is fighting alongside the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to stop these hate incidents.

"Enough is enough. It doesn't matter who you are, stand with us to stop hate against AAPI communities, period," he said.

Santiago joined leaders in the local AAPI community to say the rise in hate crimes in these communities is alarming and will not be tolerated.

RELATED: Neighbors Help Stop Harassment Of Asian American Family In Ladera Ranch

Most recently, Korean-American Air Force veteran Denny Kim was the victim of a violent racist attack in Koreatown.

KCAL9/CBS2 has also reported other incidents that seem to be driven by anti-Asian American sentiments, including teens vandalizing and harassing a family in Ladera Ranch.

Some incidents have even resulted in death in the case of an elderly San Francisco man who was beaten and killed while taking his daily walk.

James An, of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles, is asking anyone who experiences or sees a hate incident to report it.

"We urge the public to report any attacks, including discrimination, bullying, harassment and violence against AAPI individuals so that we may, No. 1, collect more data regarding hate incidents and No. 2, help local law enforcement identify and prosecute criminals," An said.

The LAPD said every police station has someone assigned to hate crimes investigations.

"If you're ever a victim or witness an act of hate, I strongly encourage you to speak up and report it. Because chances are, you may not be the only victim. In my case, there were more than five other victims," Lee said.

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