SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – A shopkeeper in San Francisco Chinatown told KPIX that she was slapped in the face and sprayed with pepper over the weekend by a teenage boy who she said was out of revenge.
Fanly Chen owns GoApple – a phone repair and accessories store on Grant Avenue in Chinatown. She said first that a thief had stolen from her. Then he returned later that day to terrorize her.
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She tells KPIX that her attacker is still on the street.
In a surveillance video she shared Monday, Chen is seen in white as a teenager wearing a yellow shirt entering the store and spraying her with pepper while helping another customer before 6 p.m. on Saturday
“I have the pepper [spray] just go straight into my eyes It was very painful, ”Chen recalled. “You immediately feel blind. You can’t open your eyes; Your whole face is like a burn … you feel like you can’t breathe very well. “
Chen said customers called 911 because she couldn’t see. She went to the hospital to have her eyes treated.
She said hours before she was sprayed with pepper, the teen stole a handful of iPhone Max cases from her store. She took a picture of the suspect. She told KPIX he returned shortly after the original theft and claimed he wanted to swap the cases for the correct ones.
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‘First, you didn’t pay [for] it. Second, if you want to exchange it, show me the receipt first, okay? ‘”Explained Chen. “And he said, ‘No, no, no, I just want the free ones and go away, go out.’ So I say, “Stop it, if you don’t pay for it I’ll call the police. You have to pay for it first.” And he said, “Call the police.”
Chen said she followed him out of the store and claimed that he punched her in the face. Two tourists came in to help and were able to get their stolen suitcases back. A spectator was hit in the eye.
Chen said she recognized the suspect because, she claims, he often steals from her shop and other businesses in Chinatown.
“He doesn’t care about anyone. [When you] Call the police before the police come and he’ll run away. Even the police know who he is, ”said Chen. “There’s nothing the police can do about it because it’s $ 50, $ 20 every time.”
Chen told KPIX that every dollar counts at a time when even small businesses in Chinatown are barely stopping by with less pedestrian traffic due to the pandemic.
“No tourists. Yes, we are barely open. We work so hard, ”said Chen.
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San Francisco police said there were no arrests in the incident.