‘Survivor’ contestant Michelle Yi describes the terrifying attack on Santa Monica – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Former ‘Survivor’ contestant Michelle Yi, known by the name “Piper”, spoke exclusively to Betty Yu at KPIX 5 about a vicious attack that may have caused her to detach her retina.
“I never thought that I would be the victim of such an attack,” said Yi.
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The Fiji season 16 favorite shared photos of her injuries in the October 14 attack. She was preparing to teach her first Pilates class of the day at a Santa Monica studio when police said she was attacked by 25-year-old Alexandria Diaz.
“She had a rusty hacksaw in one hand and a metal pipe in the other,” said Yi. “She starts screaming more nonsense and actually rushes into the studio and stabs my left bicep with the knife and then she hits me with the whistle twice. The first time just hit my hand, smash my watch, got my fingers pretty good and then the second time right over my head. “
The attacker hit Yi so hard that her eyebrow was torn open and she was stitched in the hospital.
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Police said Diaz had been reported missing from Fresno. She had attacked two other victims just before attacking Yi. One of the victims was an elderly Asian. Police added that the suspect was not on her prescribed medication at the time of the assault.
Yi couldn’t be sure if she was being targeted for her race but said:
“I think if I were another person I’m not sure if they would have attacked me. I think as an Asian woman and not very tall it is a much easier destination, as are the older Asian gentlemen. You know, there were other people in Santa Monica. “
Santa Monica Police are still investigating whether the attack was a hate crime. Diaz has been charged with three counts of assault with a lethal weapon.
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Yi said that while she was getting better physically, the emotional wounds would take longer to heal. She wants to go back to work this week.