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Asian American rally organizer attacked by homeless woman in San Francisco Portola neighborhood

SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco rally organizer said she was hurt in an unprovoked attacked in the Portola neighborhood in broad daylight on September 2nd.

Selena, a San Francisco resident, who prefers to keep her last name private, shared photos of her recovering in the emergency room.

She helped organize a rally to protest a proposed cannabis dispensary at 2490 San Bruno Ave. She said after she wrapped up the community event attended largely by the Chinese community around 10:40 a.m., a woman not affiliated with the rally appeared. 

"She said 'FU' and then she started coming right at me, started pulling my hair and I was trying to pull myself away from her," Selena said. "She ended up grabbing my backpack, the handle on my backpack and she was pulling me closer, and I really felt like I was going to be hurt really badly or die that day."

Selena said two seniors at the rally and a Good Samaritan across the street tried to intervene. Firefighters in a passing fire truck also honked the horn and yelled for the attacked to stop. 

"They tried to block her, she kept on pulling me closer and she got her fists up, and she tried to punch me, but I had the mic in my hand, so I used the mic to block her punch," added Selena. 

Police officers arrived on scene and were able to identify the attacker, who is homeless. She was cited for simple battery, which is a misdemeanor.

Selena said it's unclear what set off the suspect. She said no words were exchanged before the woman grabbed her hair.

"It's very different when you hear it on the news and when it does happen to you, I don't know I was scared," she said. 

Selena said she's dealing with muscle pain and lingering headaches since the attack in early September. 

As she deals with the trauma, she's choosing to stay in more often and doesn't go out with a backpack.

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