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EXCLUSIVE: Mother Calls Daughter A Hero After She Intervened In Racially Motivated SEPTA Assault

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- We're hearing exclusively from the mother of a teenager being called a hero. She was injured in an attack on Asian students aboard a SEPTA train that was caught on camera.

It's an attack that police say was motivated by race.

CBS3 talked to the mother of the 18-year-old girl seen being kicked and stomped on in that disturbing video. The mother mostly speaks Chinese. But despite the language barrier, you can still hear the emotion in her voice.

"This is too brutal," she said.

Speaking only with Eyewitness News through her sister as a translator, the mother of one of the victims in the latest SEPTA assault showed us a photo of her daughter's injuries.

Many are calling the 18-year-old girl a hero, saying she intervened to stop the attack that happened Wednesday as a group of African-American teens attacked three Asian-American Central High School students who were headed home from school on the Broad Street Line.

Here's what SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel said Thursday about her daughter.

"She stepped up and told the girls to stop saying what they were saying. She then became a target. Just truly heroic, courageous," he said.

"She says she saw that but every time when friends and people from the community gave her support and her love, every time the said hero, the word, her mother's heart was broken. We paid a price for being a hero," the victim's aunt Mei Lu said.

The district attorney's office has approved charges against four female teens. They include aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation.

"This is too cold-blooded, You are still kids," the victim's mother said through Lu. "And even her daughter supported Black Lives Matter. I want to say Asian lives also matters."

"This issue of violence goes beyond race," said John Chin with the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation.

Philly's Asian-American community met with the family at a news conference Friday, along with Congressmember Dwight Evans.

"You are not alone and I wanted the families to know they were not alone," Evans said.

The 18-year-old girl has been in and out of the hospital recovering.

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