An Asian woman who suffered a bloodied mouth after an unprovoked attack in Los Angeles is seeking justice as her alleged assailant continues to walk free.
What happened: Jennifer Chen, a Canadian national visiting the city, was alone in her car when a man allegedly approached her, uttered a racial slur and punched her in the mouth. The incident reportedly occurred in the parking lot of The Balcony on Beverwil around 4:25 p.m. on Sept. 15.
Chen, 30, was sitting on the driver’s side when the alleged attack occurred. She was waiting for a female friend who was picking up her son — Chen’s godson — from school.
Surveillance video from the parking lot shows a man approaching a vehicle and swiftly extending his hand through the driver’s window. Shortly after, a bleeding Chen filmed herself chasing her alleged assailant up an escalator.
“I did not know where he was headed. All I could think of was ‘I can’t let him get away with this’ and ‘I need to get my friend,’” Chen told NextShark.
Chen said she then saw the man drop his children — who were allegedly present during the attack — at the same learning center where her godson goes. She said teachers at the center took her in to help with her bleeding mouth, while her friend went after the man to confront him.
Chen said she obtained information about her attacker from the learning center. She identified him as 43-year-old Jason Raich.
The aftermath: The incident left Chen with multiple physical injuries and mental trauma. She filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) at West L.A., which promised to “contact her once a detective is assigned” to her case.
Chen said she was diagnosed with a concussion, lip laceration, dental pain and multiple tooth root fractures, with one already dead and needing a root canal treatment. “The other two front teeth might die tomorrow or years from now and will need root canals and veneers, or extraction and implant,” she added.
Due to “everything happening so fast” and the state of her consciousness after the attack, Chen could not remember her assailant’s exact words. “I do recall him saying ‘f*cking Asians’ or words to that effect,” she told NextShark.
Chen said she sees hate crimes on the news all the time, but she never thought she would be involved in an incident herself — especially in a “supposedly safe area” near Beverly Hills. She wants her attacker arrested.
“He thought he wasn’t caught on surveillance camera and could get away with it because I’m this little Asian girl alone in my own car,” Chen said. “[He] kept telling me to ‘Call 911!’ and that I am harassing him. Calling me a liar. Calling my friend ‘crazy white chick.’”
Chen told NextShark that she feels embarrassed by releasing a video of herself in such a vulnerable state, but she said she’s seeking justice for the entire Asian community in doing so. “Asians, especially women, need to speak up. People need to know what he did and not let him get away with it. He has not been arrested yet. Justice needs to be served, or else who knows who will be his next victim,” she said.
Chen is seeking an elevated hate crime charge for what the LAPD currently considers a misdemeanor battery, NBC LA reported. Anyone with information is urged to contact Chen’s lawyer, Edward Y. Lee, at (213) 380-5858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Chen’s medical, legal and therapy fees.
Featured Image via Jennifer Chen / Law Offices of Edward Y. Lee, APC
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