San Francisco park where a grandmother was fatally beaten will now have her name

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco park where a grandmother was beaten and then later died from her injuries will now bear her name.

Family and friends will gather Saturday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially usher in the newly named Yik Oi Huang Peace and Friendship Park.

The park, formerly Visitacion Valley Playground, will be a “visible tribute to an Asian immigrant working-class woman,” according to a memorial website maintained by Huang’s granddaughter, Sasanna Yee.

The event will feature Chinese lion dancing, West African drumming and other “cultural healing festivities.”

Huang, then 88, was on her usual morning walk in the city’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood on Jan. 8, 2019 when she was attacked. She suffered a broken skull, arms and neck. Her home was burglarized minutes afterward.

Huang went on to receive long-term care at a hospital but died in January 2020 at age 89. While her assault preceded the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic, it nevertheless rattled the city’s Asian community.

Keonte Gathron, 24, was arrested in connection with the attack within days. He remains jailed while awaiting trial on murder and other charges, according to online county jail records.

Yee has since become a proponent of addressing anti-Asian hate, racial healing and restorative justice.

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