The incident was reported July 27 around 10 p.m. in front of 179 Mulberry Street.
Police say the 68-year-old victim was taking an evening stroll when an unknown suspect punched her in the face.
Minerva Chin spoke out Tuesday and described the moment things took a violent turn.
"And then when I walked up here, I saw that little storage cart and I turned to see how heavy it was to retrieve it and right when I turned I blacked out, I just felt the impact," Chin said. "I didn't see it coming, I didn't know what it was. I just blacked out."
Good Samaritans rushed to help her before police arrived. She said it took about a week to recover from a mild concussion.
Police say they are not investigating the incident as a hate crime because no words were exchanged, but Chin, a Chinese American, has a different view.
"I consider it a hate crime because he obviously saw I was Asian before striking," she said. "I wanted to come back to the scene of the crime to reclaim my street."
"I did not think it would happen to my own mother," the victim's son, Leland Yu, said. "It makes me very aware, hyper-aware, that it could happen to anybody."
Chin, a longtime NYC educator and activist, has spent much of her life advocating for low-income immigrants.
Her nonprofit, A Place For Kids, is an afterschool and summer program meant to help immigrant children, including Asian Americans, be proud of their dual identities.
"Nobody helped me, so I wanted to help the children," Chin said.
Chin said she feels empowered to share her own story and felt it was her responsibility to speak out.
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