SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — A former “Survivor” contestant was brutally attacked on the street in Santa Monica last Thursday. A woman was taken into custody for the attack and was also accused of other attacks that same morning.
Michelle Yi, who appeared on season 16 of “Survivor” in Fiji, was stabbed and beaten on her way to teach a pilates classREAD MORE: Instagram To Launch Parental Controls In March
Last Thursday, police say Yi was walking to her pilates studio on 2nd street when a woman hit Yi with a metal pole and stabbed her with a knife.
Canadian journalist Murtz Jaffer, who’s a friend of Yi and broke the story, said she’s devastated by what happened.
“It’s one of those things where it’s like I wasn’t surprised, which speaks volumes given the number of incidents like these that are happening across the U.S.,” Jaffer said.
Yi was heading to teach a pilates class at 6 a.m. when police say a woman, who was reported missing from Fresno, assaulted her.
Authorities say the alleged attacker was not on her prescribed medications at the time.READ MORE: Father And Son Arrested For Allegedly Sparking Caldor Fire
Santa Monica police reported the suspect, 25-year-old Alexandria Diaz, is linked to two other attacks.
Jaffer said he learned one of the victims is also Asian and he believes it was racially motivated.
“At the time she wasn’t sure if it was a hate crime or motivated by race or something,” Jaffer said. “That was the assumption based on the identity of the other person who was attacked”
Investigators say they have no information to determine if Yi’s attack was a hate crime, but they are still investigating.
People who live and work in the area are stunned by what happened and say the incident serves as a reminder to always be on guard.
“I always make sure I’m walking with somebody I don’t do it by myself,” said one person.MORE NEWS: Sale of Angel Stadium Deemed Illegal By California Department of Housing
Yi went to the hospital to get checked out. She is expected to be OK.