South Asian transgender woman says motorcyclist deliberately struck her in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO - Anjali Rimi says as a South Asian transgender woman she is no stranger to hate. She's recovering from injuries she said she suffered after being deliberately struck by a motorcyclist in San Francisco.
"I feel very violated and upset," said Rimi, her arm now wrapped in a cast.
The attack happened around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on Fourth and Mission streets. That's when she said someone on a motorcycle sped toward her and hit her.
She had parked her car in the Mission Street garage and was crossing the street in the crosswalk going to a hotel when she heard a motorcyclist revving his bike and starting to speed toward her.
"He hit me so hard, I could not feel the right side of my body," Rimi said.
Rimi suspects how she was dressed, as a South Asian woman, made her a target because there were other people walking nearby.
"This person saw me and something sparked in their mind. They came at me because they had some Asian hate built in them," said Rimi.
No words were exchanged. She said the impact tore the straps of her purse and that the motorcyclist made no attempts to take her purse while he slowed down for about 10 seconds before speeding off.
Investigators with San Francisco Police Department are looking for surveillance video in the area.
Police said at this point there is no evidence of a hate crime and that the attack is being investigated as an attempted robbery. The investigation remains open.
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"As of right now we have no direct evidence that this is a prejudice-based incident. Usually the bar for that is fairly high. We have to have evidence that the suspect said something," said SFPD Officer Kathryn Winters.
Rimi shared video of her at a transgender community event shortly before the attack. She said she's proud of her activism work, for which she's received recognition for by state lawmakers.
Rimi, 42, said she has a message for the motorcyclist: "For a minute or two you made me feel unsafe in a city that is so close to my heart, has given me life, has given me a platform. You didn't win in taking my strength and courage. I'll be OK."
Rimi said her doctor told her she should make a full recovery from her injured arm in a month or two.