HomeCrimeMan assaults students on a bus in SF with slurs and a...

Man assaults students on a bus in SF with slurs and a taser

By Rachel Lu, AsAmNews Intern

Liz Le is still shaken by what happened to her 14-year-old son on a San Francisco public bus one week ago.

“I rode the bus a lot when I was growing up. And I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything to that extent. All of my years. So it’s sad that he had to experience that at 14 in San Francisco of all places,” Le told AsAmNews.

The San Francisco Police Department wrote in an email to AsAmNews that officers responded around 3:15 pm May 1 regarding a suspicious person on a Muni bus. The people on site told investigators that a man on the MUNI bus yelled anti-Asian slurs at people and pulled out a taser. The man ran off and could not be located by the police for further investigation.

Le’s son, who is Asian American, was among the Lowell High School students on the 29 Sunset inbound bus, which they ride after school gets out around 3 p.m. According to the San Francisco Standard, the students recounted that a man at the back of the bus began saying Asian people should “go back to their country,” that they are “ruining the country,” and referred to them using an anti-Chinese slur.

Another 16-year-old student at the back of the bus confronted the man, telling him to “shut up,” reported the SF Standard. The man approached the girl and directed the slur at her. 

After another woman confronted the man, he pulled out a taser, switched it on and pointed it at the woman. The bus driver stopped the bus and evacuated the passengers, including the man who ran off on Sunset Boulevard.

Concerned for the safety of her children on their way to and from school, Le proposes that the SFMTA provide more student only buses for key transit times and routes. According to Le, the Route 29 bus serves over a dozen schools, and restoring the safety for the students on the bus should be a priority.

Le also believes there is a need for more police presence in San Francisco to ensure the safety of the Asian American community. Le cites recent incidents where elderly Asian women were brutally attacked in the city, one of whom was killed.

“I think it’s a harsh reality of the fact that we’re 500 plus officers short in San Francisco that impacts every aspect of not just safety, but criminal investigations,” Le told AsAmNews. “So everything is going to take a little bit longer. And there’s a lot of crime happening throughout the city. So that is something that is very painful.”

New research from the coalition group Stop AAPI Hate found that nearly 50% of AAPIs have recently experienced racism or discrimination. However, the coalition advocates for investment in communities rather than policing or other carceral solutions.

“Too often, there has been an overreliance on policing and carceral solutions for improving public safety — and this approach also harms AAPIs who are disproportionately targeted by police violence, including Pacific Islanders and Southeast Asians,” Stop AAPI Hate wrote to AsAmNews in an email.

An example of a community solution is MuniSafe, launched by SFMTA in 2022 with the goal of preventing and addressing harassment across Muni vehicles, stops, and stations through . Two days after the incident, SFMTA posted an update to its MuniSafe program on its blog. The blogpost announced that the SFMTA is now hiring more ambassadors to help customers and reduce conflict. As of now, there is at least one unsatisfied Muni rider who posted a comment about their negative experience with MuniSafe under the blog post.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, or SFMTA, told AsAmNews in an email that they are working with SFPD and the District Attorney’s Office to ensure that crime on Muni is investigated and prosecuted.

“We are taking this incident very seriously and are working with SFPD on finding this suspect. We do not tolerate crime, harassment and attacks of hate on Muni, and we thank the riders who reported this to us, as quickly reporting incidents of crime and harassment helps us begin our investigation immediately and help SFPD identify a suspect,” SFMTA wrote in a statement.

As a parent, Le says while the kids are shaken, they are not yet able to grasp the full severity of this incident. For her son, this was his first exposure to a real criminal case.

“We try our best to protect our kids, yes, they’re continuing to take the bus, but I don’t think they realize that, what if next time it’s a gun or a knife? I mean, that’s very highly likely,” Le told AsAmNews.

While images of the suspect are now circulating on social media, the SFPD has not yet disclosed any videos or photos related to the incident due to the open investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features


Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading