Xiao Zhen Zie, 76, used a stick to ward off her attacker when he assaulted her in the San Francisco Bay Area while she was standing at traffic lights.
The incident came after the recent mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, which left eight people dead, including six women of Asian heritage. The attack has sent shockwaves through the Asian American community.
Speaking to CBS San Francisco about her experience, while her daughter Dong-Mei Lei translated, Zie said she had been left shaken by the attack.
“Very traumatised, very scared and this eye is still bleeding,” she said.
“The right eye still cannot see anything and (is) still bleeding and we have something to absorb the bleeding.”
Zie, who said the assault was entirely unprovoked, added that her reflex was to fight back.
Both she and her attacker ended up in the hospital following her attempt to defend herself, however, the attacker needed a stretcher.
“She found the stick around the area and fought back,” her daughter said.
Her grandson John Chen said his grandmother “is extremely terrified... she’s terrified to even step out.”
CBS San Francisco Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell, who witnessed the attack, said: “There was a guy on a stretcher and a frustrated angry woman with a stick in her hand.
“From what I could see, she wanted more of the guy on the stretcher and the police were holding her back.”
Local police have reported another attack on another elderly Asian person.
A suspect is being investigated for both incidents and police say they are trying to establish whether the attacks are racially-motivated.