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87-year-old crime victim will move back to China after multiple attacks in San Francisco

On a San Francisco sidewalk, a suspect leaps in the air to kick a man in a seater walker.
Surveillance video showed a man jump-kicking Rongxin Liao in the face in a high-profile attack in 2020. | Source: Screen Shot

An elder Chinese immigrant man decided to move back to China after experiencing multiple brutal assaults in San Francisco, including one high-profile incident that was caught on camera.

Rongxin Liao, 87, will take a flight this Saturday back to Guangzhou, Guangdong on a one-way ticket, his son, Jing Liao, confirmed with The Standard. Rongxin Liao plans to spend the rest of his life there. 

“It’s too dangerous here,” Jing said in Cantonese. “Public safety situation in San Francisco has become worse and worse.”

Jing said the family reached a consensus to move Liao back to China, and Liao’s younger son, who is Jing’s brother and living in China, will take care of him.

Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily first reported the story about Liao’s farewell dinner with some of his elder friends in Chinatown on Sunday.

Liao was the victim in a high-profile case in 2020, in which surveillance video footage showed an attacker violently jump-kicking Liao, who was in his walker, to the ground. Liao appeared in court multiple times, asking the judge to sentence the attacker to a harsh punishment.

Liao’s family later appeared in a recall campaign advertisement against then-District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

But that’s not the only attack Liao has experienced on San Francisco streets.

According to his son, Liao was attacked again on Oct. 1 of last year on Market Street. A police report shows that an 86-year-old Asian male matching Liao’s description was the victim of an unprovoked attack in which the suspect punched him. He was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Liao told Sing Tao Daily that he was going to Walgreens to get medication at the time, the attacker punched him multiple times and his blood was everywhere.

Liao told Sing Tao Daily that he was also attacked seven years ago, when he was beaten unconscious in the Tenderloin.

“I don’t want to be a drag to my son here,” Liao told Sing Tao Daily. “I don’t want him to worry about me all the time.”

Liao immigrated to San Francisco 24 years ago and lives in SoMa. Before he leaves America this Saturday, he will visit the hospital again to check on his eye injuries resulting from the last attack.

Han Li can be reached at