“My face split open. Blood was everywhere.”
“Survivor” contestant Michelle Yi survived a terrifying attack in Santa Monica on Thursday.
The 37-year-old was stabbed and beaten by a homeless woman in what she believes may have been a hate crime.
Yi, a fan favorite from 2006’s “Survivor: Fiji”, was attacked around 6AM last Thursday morning at the studio where she teaches pilates; according to People, her students had just begun arriving when she noticed a “disheveled and agitated woman” approaching the door.
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“She was yelling all sorts of things like, ‘You stole my identity’ and, ‘You’re a prostitute,’” Yi, said. “Santa Monica has a homeless problem, and I’ve dealt with this type of thing before. So I told her, ‘Ma’am, you can’t be here. You need to leave.’”
That’s when the woman suddenly lunged at her with a knife in one hand and a metal baton in the other: “She stabbed me in the left bicep,” Yi said. “And then she hit me on the right hand with the baton. My Apple Watch shattered.”
The assailant didn’t relent, smashing her over the head with the baton. “My face split open. Blood was everywhere.”
Her students rushed over and the woman fled; Yi said both she and one of the students tried to call 911 but were told operators were “currently busy,” so they had to flag down a police car on the street instead.
Yi was taken to hospital and examined; she suffered no breaks but required several stitches.
Officers found the woman still on the scene, and arrested her. Police later confirmed she had attacked two other people beforehand.
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“I can’t say why she attacked me, of all people,” Yi said. “But she was a white lady who attacked three people that morning. Another victim was an elderly Asian man who was walking his dog, and the third was also a person of color. I can’t prove whether it was racially motivated or not, but she was screaming all sorts of awful things at me. The facts are what they are.”
The suspect, who has not been identified, was been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. She was not charged with hate crime.
“It appeared that she was mentally unstable and maybe off her medication,” Santa Monica PD Lieutenant Rudy Flores told the publication. “That probably caused her to do what she did.”
Yi said she had no family close by to help after her scary encounter: “My parents are in Taiwan My siblings live up in the Bay Area,” she said. “So it was a really lonely place to be.”
“It was really awful,” she added. “It was dark when this happened. I hope that police will have more protections during the hours that we need them most.”
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