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‘I believe this is a hate crime’: San Francisco entrepreneur speaks out after her assault

Samorn Selim is speaking out after experiencing an assault in a San Francisco park. | Courtesy Samorn Selim | Source: Courtesy Samorn Selim

An Asian woman has broken her silence after experiencing an assault in a San Francisco park amid a new wave of media reports on crimes involving Asian victims.

Samorn Selim, a 40-year-old entrepreneur who works as a career coach, said she was taking a morning walk in McLaren Park near the Excelsior District on July 26, when a man jogging in the area tackled her to the ground “like a football player” in an unprovoked attack. Selim said she chased her assailant and tried to catch him, but he ran away.

“I believe this is a hate crime based on my race and gender: Asian woman,” Selim, a Laotian American and a mother of two, said in a statement. “He did not try to take anything from me, so this is not a theft case.”

Selim, a graduate of UC Berkeley Law, has worked as an attorney, although her license is currently inactive. 

She suffered injuries that require physical therapy, she said. She also shared her experiences on multiple social media platforms, asserting that there are likely to be many more victims in the current wave of anti-Asian attacks in the Bay Area this summer. 

“By us all speaking up, we can work together as allies,” she told The Standard. “I want me and all Asian women to be able to walk outside to a neighborhood park without feeling fear or threat of being attacked.”

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed to The Standard that they received a report regarding a battery in the park. Currently, no arrest has been made.

Stand with Asian Americans, an advocacy group that emerged from the Stop Asian Hate movement, has helped Selim since the incident.

“It’s unacceptable that Asian women and Asian elders continue to face unprovoked attacks just walking outside,” the group said in a statement. “We demand concrete solutions to end anti-Asian violence and restore public safety.”

In July, a series of attacks on Asian elders sparked new concerns about crimes targeting Asian Americans, prompting top law enforcement leaders to condemn the multiple attack incidents.

Han Li can be reached at