A Taiwanese-American man and Navy veteran was knocked unconscious in an unprovoked attack Tuesday in Koreatown.
“Leo,” who did not want NBC4 to use his real name still has a nagging headache.
He says emergency room doctors ran tests and the giant lump on the back of his head doesn’t appear to be serious.
“It was very hard to sleep,” Leo said. “It was traumatic.”
At 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon in front of the Chipotle at Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. Leo was waiting for a bus on a bench.
Leo told NBC4 that he did not interact with the man prior to the attack.
“I was minding my own business,” Leo said.
A surveillance camera captured the attack where Leo was standing with a red duffle bag playing a video game on his phone with the sound off.
A man standing to the left of Leo, whom he’d never met before, approached him and went right for his head. Leo collapsed and was unconscious.
He suffered a bruise on his head when it slammed into the concrete.
Seconds later, another man wearing a white hat confronted the attacker, dragging him away from Leo.
“Didn’t hear anything and didn’t know what happened,” Leo said. “It was just so surreal.”
Moments later, a woman in the video foreground can be seen calling 911.
The confrontation between the witness and the attacker ended and, for some reason, the attacker pulled Leo to his feet. Then the attacker is shown calmly strolling away.
When Leo woke up, paramedics had to fill him in on what occurred.
“I believe him. I was like, ‘Okay… this happened,’” Leo said.
Leo had to see for himself. He went back and got a copy of the video from the nearby apartment complex security camera.
In that video Leo saw himself, a Navy veteran already suffering from PTSD and anxiety, attacked in public.
“Looking back on the footage, it was so unprovoked and so random,” Leo said. “So sudden.”
After months of soaring hate crime statistics against Asian Americans, Leo still struggles to find fault with this dangerous person who appears to still be on the loose. No arrests were reported Wednesday.
“I should’ve known better,” Leo said. “I should’ve picked up the red flag.”
Source: NBC Los Angeles