SEPTA Student Attack: Viral GoFundMe Raises $ 500,000 to Stop Asian Hate

The 18-year-old, who was trying to prevent others from being bullied, was released from the hospital.

Screenshot ; Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

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A huge wave of support for the Asian American who was attacked on SEPTA after trying to stop the bullying grossed more than half a million dollars in less than 24 hours, via a fundraiser organized by his mother and brother.

Entitled “Support Christina in the defense of public safety”GoFundMe had raised nearly $ 550,000 by early Saturday afternoon from nearly 10,000 donors.

The page was created by YLin Chen and Michael Chen, according to the site. They describe themselves as the mother and brother of Christina, the 18-year-old seen getting hit and trampled by other girls in a viral video of the attack.

Christina was recently released from the hospital, according to the fundraiser, and will be receiving mental health support from a therapist.

“As a family, we will continue to campaign against Asian hate crimes in the Philadelphia School District,” the Chens wrote on GoFundMe. “In addition, we actively campaign for the safety of schoolchildren when using public transport. “

The assault took place at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Broad Street line near Erie station, according to SEPTA.

An 18-year-old at Central High School, Christina was coming home from school, her aunt Mei Lu said, when she saw a group of black girls “torment” another group of Asian American college students attending Central.

When she tried to intervene, the group of stalkers turned on her, injuring her to the point that she had to be hospitalized.

The attackers were identified in one day, according to the chief of the public transport police Thomas Nestel III. Described as being between 13 and 16 years old, they face multiple charges including ethnic intimidation, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment of another person, and disorderly conduct.

One of the girls accused of assault had run away from her home two weeks earlier, her mother said. in an interview with NBC10. She called her daughter’s actions inexcusable.

“We’re all sorry,” the mother told NBC10, who did not release her name. “We are embarrassed, ashamed. This is not who we represent.

The attack became a rallying point for the AAPI community in Philly.

People of Asian and Pacific Island heritage have faced an increase in hate crimes since the start of the pandemic. At national scale, over 9,000 anti-Asians incidents have been reported in the past two years, up more than 75% from before COVID.

Board member David Oh, who was the first Asian American to be elected to political office in Philadelphia, called on SEPTA and the school district to step up security measures. Nestel, the transit police chief, told WHYY he immediately assigned an officer at Olney station to help students on the move.

GoFundMe did not say exactly what the Chen family’s plans are for the money raised, but wrote that the donations “will help us defend the city’s public safety.”

Comments on fundraising page praise Christina as a brave and heroine. “You have shown real courage and selflessness! Said a donor. “So proud of your heroic deed! Another said. “You are not alone,” wrote a third.

Christina’s main wish, the Chens wrote, “is that students, regardless of race, can be safe outside of their homes.”

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