This is a frightening account of how easily you can get into a situation where you need to be armed. It’s also a lesson in knowing your surroundings!
NEVER stop for anyone you don’t know! EVER! This attack happened so quickly and inside a car – people didn’t come to help until it was over! You cannot found on the police or others to help you in a situation like this. Nothing was taken from this man…nothing. Wouldn’t you label this a hate crime? Seems like the LA Police don’t feel the same way but if this isn’t a hate crime, what is? We’d love to know your thoughts on this case!
In a nightmare scenario, a well-known physician was brutally attacked inside his BMW after leaving a seaside restaurant. Now, after surviving the bloody beating, he offers an exclusive account of the night he was nearly killed.
Venice Beach was warm and festive when Dr. Bruce Lee left the Townhouse bar and restaurant and walked across Windward Avenue toward his car. It was around 10:30 p.m. on a weekend, but crowds of people strolled along the broad avenue under bright lights. Lee, 61, absorbed the mood, relaxed and happy, as he slid behind the wheel of his green BMW 750. The plush beige leather seats cushioned him as he stretched back to maneuver around a van on the passenger side that had angled in sharply.
He had just straightened out the BMW’s sleek rear so that it ran parallel to the van when he heard some commotion. Someone was shouting about a bike and money. His right foot, clad in a black dress shoe, gently slid onto the brake pad and Lee turned to look out the window. Two faces, a man and a woman, loomed in close.
Now Lee looked out the window at the faces bearing down on him. There was no question, they were screaming at him, saying he’d hit a bike. Had he? He wasn’t sure. He hadn’t felt anything, but then again, would he have? That van was pretty close, maybe he hadn’t been paying attention. But now they were shouting something else: He had to pay! $150! $150! It seemed a very specific amount, but then maybe that’s how much a bike was worth. He rolled down the window. A slight- looking African-American woman with curly, almost bushy, hair stared intently back. At her side was a man. Both were in their 20s, early 30s at the latest. Lee rolled down his window and let his foot gently off the brake pad so that the BMW continued to roll backward into the street. $150!
“What bike?” he asked, as gently as possible.
He was intent on getting out of that parking spot, but he was still jammed between the van, another car and, now, this shouting pair, who continued to scream. “You hit that bike! You gotta pay! $150! You gotta pay!” And then, very suddenly, Lee wasn’t alone anymore. Sitting in his passenger seat, cushioned in the same soft leather he was in, was a man. Like the pair, he was African American, mid-20s, dressed casually, about 5’10”, medium build. Lee had injured his bike, the man screamed, and now Lee had to pay for the bike. $150! “If I damaged your bike, I’m more than happy to pay you,” Lee said. All the same, Lee was formulating a plan. He continued to back up.
The plan was that as soon as Lee had cleared this van, cleared the other car and was in the actual street with room to spare, he was going to jump out of that BMW and run. But the man sitting in the passenger seat had something else in mind. Before Lee could put his plan into action, the man motioned toward his waist. There, Lee could plainly see, was the handle of a large pistol.
“You see this?” the man said. Lee nodded. Yeah, he saw it.
“There’s no need for that,” Lee said, “I’m happy to pay you.”
To which the man shouted: Yes! Lee had to pay him. $150! If only he could get into the street, he thought, he’d ditch the car and run for his life. And then the lights went out. Just like that. The automatic roof light that had come on when the man had entered the car had now — blink — gone out. In the sudden darkness, a hunk of metal slammed into Lee’s face, breaking his glasses. A direct hit, he thought. If he cried out, he doesn’t remember.
The blows rained down on him. One. Then another. Then a third. At least 10 in all — and all on his face. His eyes, forehead, glasses. Everywhere.
He put his hands up to defend himself, but the blows kept coming. They were just two men in a car now, both silent, one pistol-whipping another. The couple that had been shouting at him through the window seemed to have disappeared, and it occurred to Lee that it had all been a ruse to distract attention from the man who now sat in his passenger seat beating him senseless. His foot slipped off the brake pad momentarily and Lee’s BMW crept backward into the street until the back end gently tapped the bumper of another vehicle.
And then, as suddenly as he had appeared, the passenger jumped out and ran off. Lee sat stunned for a moment, then opened the door. First one and then several bystanders approached and peered in. Was he OK…did he need anything? Towels, he replied. He was bleeding profusely from various places — his nose, his cheeks, he didn’t know where else. He knew he had to stop the bleeding. His left eye had already swollen almost completely shut. Someone said they had called 911, the paramedics and police were on their way. In his stupor, Lee overheard snippets of conversation.
“We have to go,” a man said.
“But we saw everything,” a woman replied.
“I know,” he replied, “That’s why we have to go.”
As they left, Lee had one thought: witnesses. It had been an expert operation, really, now that he thought about it. The screamers had distracted him, the passenger had slipped in, all of it in under 10 seconds. They must have done it before. But for what? Lee hadn’t given them anything. He looked down. His clothes, the beige leather seats, his hands, the console — everything was covered in blood.
It wasn’t easy stanching all that blood, but eventually he managed. His pants and shirt were soaked.The paramedics arrived first, then the police. They both asked him lots of questions and he did his best to answer. Nevertheless, his first thoughts ran to the morbid: What if he had died, or been permanently disabled? It was a real possibility. An ambulance took him to the Southern California Hospital of Culver City. On the way, he thought to himself how grateful he was that the bleeding had slowed. After a spell in the hospital waiting room where he sat shirtless and still, a nurse wheeled him to a room for a CT scan on his face and head.
“What happened?” the radiology tech asked, and Lee told him.
“I don’t know why they targeted me,” he said. Asian males were actually frequent targets because of the perception that they carried wads of cash on them at all times, the tech said. He saw it all the time.
“Really?” Lee asked, and the tech nodded.
“Well, this one doesn’t,” Lee said.
Lee was discharged from the hospital with a mostly clean bill of health. He called Lyft and was headed home when he realized he didn’t have his keys, so he called and found out his car had been impounded. He went to the garage, paid $285, got his car, his keys, paid the Lyft driver and resumed the trip home in the BMW, worse for wear but still rolling. At home, he noticed that the would-be robber had left some things inside the car. Using a pair of wooden chopsticks, Lee bagged the evidence for the police. Then he changed out of his blood-soaked clothes and went to his bedroom. He couldn’t sleep so he just sat on the edge of his bed and stared at the wall for several hours. He didn’t eat, he didn’t even feel like showering. He wasn’t named after the movie star Bruce Lee. It just happened to be a pretty common name among Chinese Americans. Perhaps the weirdest thing was that a lot of physicians shared his name. He’d done some investigating on the matter. After a few hours, dawn began to flood into his room. He’d never learned martial arts. That would have been useful, he thought. At 9 a.m. sharp he called the cops again.
For a few days after the attack, his vision periodically erupted into blinding flashes of light. The eye is composed of a gel-like material, and that gel is attached to our retinas. With trauma, the attachment can sever, causing flashes of light, most often on the periphery of one’s vision because it pulls on the retina. It’s called posterior vitreous detachment, or PVD. It’s not a permanent thing, but it bothered him for a few days.
Two weeks ago, the Los Angeles city council authorized a $10,000 reward for Lee’s attackers. The police investigation is ongoing. Police say a large population of homeless and mentally ill in the vicinity may have been a contributing factor to the incident. “We don’t know what the motivation was in this case,” says Officer Theodore Bridges, of the LAPD’s Pacific Division. “But there was a dispute and unfortunately Mr. Lee was beaten pretty badly.”
Via: Hollywood Reporter