Survivor Fiji star Michelle Yi is 'STABBED, beaten with pipe and left with stitches in attack by homeless woman'

Survivor Fiji star Michelle Yi is 'STABBED, beaten with pipe and left with stitches in attack by homeless woman'

October 19, 2021

SURVIVOR contestant Michelle Yi was stabbed and beaten with a metal baton in an early morning attack in California on Thursday, police have revealed.

Yi, who appeared on Survivor: Fiji in 2007, was reportedly getting ready to teach a pilates class in Santa Monica at around 6am when she was attacked by a woman who appeared to be homeless.

The reality TV star, 37, was one of three people attacked by the same alleged assailant that morning, police said.

She recounted to PEOPLE how she noticed a disheveled and agitated-looking woman approaching the open front door of her pilates studio as her students were beginning to arrive.

"She was yelling all sorts of things like, 'You stole my identity,' and, 'You're a prostitute," Yi remembered. "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.'"


But the woman ignored Yi's protestations and allegedly lunged at her with a knife in one hand and a metal baton in the other.

Yi was stabbed in the left bicep by the woman's blade.

The attacker then struck her on the right hand with the baton, shattering Yi's Apple watch, before striking her in the head, she said.

"My face split open," she said. "Blood was everywhere."

Yi's attacker then ran off and one of her students attempted to call 911, but apparently received a message that all operators were "busy."

A few minutes later, they flagged down a passing patrol car on the street.

Lieutenant Rudy Flores, a spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department, told the outlet that once officers arrived on the scene the suspect was still nearby.

"The officers took her into custody and interviewed the victims and the witnesses," Flores said.

Yi, meanwhile, was taken to the hospital where she received an X-Ray on her hand.

Fortunately, she said, no bones were fractured but she did receive several stitches to her face to close a wound just below her right eyebrow.

"I can't say why she attacked me, of all people," Yi told 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," she continued, "but she was screaming all sorts of awful things at me. The facts are what they are."


The Santa Monica Police Department has confirmed that two others were allegedly attacked by the same woman earlier that morning. Officials, however, said there is "no indication" the attacks were racially motivated.

Flores described the woman as appearing "mentally unstable and maybe off her medication.

"That probably caused her to do what she did," he said.

While the alleged weapon-wielding assailant has not been named, Flores said she has been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

She remains in police custody but has not been charged with a hate crime.

The frightening ordeal left Yi feeling "lonely", she said.

"My parents are in Taiwan. My siblings live up in the Bay Area. So it was a really lonely place to be.

"It was really awful," she added. "It was dark when this happened. I hope that police will have more protections during the hours that we need them most."

Yi, a fan favorite from her season of Survivor, said that she's recovering and is hopeful that her injuries will heal quickly.

"Physically, I'm on the mend," she says. "Emotionally, it's harder, but I should be ok."


Santa Monica is currently grappling with a surge in homelessness, with as many as 1000 people sleeping rough on the streets on any given night along the coastal city's once idyllic beachfront.

In the greater LA region, that number is closer to 66,000, according to WeAreStantaMonica.

Residents in the local area have been left furious by the lawlessness in their community, with one telling Fox 11 earlier this year that Santa Monica is now rife with "incidents of violence, threats, intimidation."

Another resident, like Yi, complained of being attacked by a homeless person that appeared to have a mental illness.

"He continued to chase me out of the park very violently, coughed in my face and screamed in my face. Obviously, it terrified me," Leah Kirsch said. 

Last month, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva blasted the city's approach to homelessness in the Downtown area during a community meeting

Santa Monica City Councilman Phil Brock, who in February pledged to rectify the situation, also voiced dismay at a lack of local action.

"It’s really simple: we need a clean, safe downtown Santa Monica from the Promenade to the parking garages,” her said. “Our city government in some cases has abdicated their responsibility to keep this area safe and clean.”

More to follow…

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