There was a time when being on “Survivor” meant being sent to a remote island to test physical and mental resilience. Nowadays, as one former contestant found out, walking to pilates class in Santa Monica is more treacherous.
Michelle Yi, who was on “Survivor: Fiji” in 2006, was stabbed and beaten with a metal baton by a homeless woman last Thursday, according to People.
Authorities said the alleged perpetrator had attacked two others before Yi and appeared to be off her medication. Yi, 37, arrived at the pilates studio where she was teaching a class shortly before 6 a.m., but as her students started to arrive, she noticed a disheveled woman heading toward the door.
“She was yelling all sorts of things like, ‘You stole my identity,’ and ‘You’re a prostitute,’” Yi told the publication. “Santa Monica has a homeless problem, and I’ve dealt with this type of thing before. So I told her, ‘Ma’am, you can’t be here. You need to leave.’”
Yi said the woman didn’t budge but rather lunged at her with a knife in one hand and a metal baton in the other.
“She stabbed me in the left bicep. And then she hit me on the right hand with the baton. My Apple Watch shattered,” said Yi adding that the suspect then used the baton to strike her in the head, splitting her face open.
“Blood was everywhere,” she said.
Police apprehended the woman, who was charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and remains in custody.
“When we arrived the suspect was still on the scene,” Lieutenant Rudy Flores, a spokesman for Santa Monica Police Department told the publication. “The officers took her into custody and interviewed the victims and witnesses.”
Yi was taken to the hospital and received several stitches on her face. She also suggested the attack may have been racially motivated.
“I can’t say why she attacked me, of all people. But she was a white lady who attacked three people that morning. Another victim was an elderly Asian man who was walking his dog, and the third was also a person of color. I can’t prove whether it was racially motivated or not, but she was screaming all sorts of awful things at me. The facts are what they are,” said Yi.
Police did not charge her with a hate crime. “It appeared that she was mentally unstable and maybe off her medication. That probably caused her to do what she did.”
Yi said physically, she was “on the mend. Emotionally, it’s harder, but I should be ok.”