New York police are searching for a man who punched and kicked a 65-year-old woman while making “anti-Asian statements”, the latest violent incident following a rise in hate crimes in the United States.
The New York Police Department’s hate crimes department said the woman was approached in a street in Midtown Manhattan shortly before noon on Monday (March 29) “by an unidentified male who punched and kicked her about the body.”
Speaking at City Hall, New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, made clear the violence was part of a trend.
“I’m very frustrated by these attacks,” de Blasio said during a briefing on Tuesday. “It’s disgusting to see people, you know, put into such a horrible situation. The fear that’s been created. It’s so unfair to Asian New Yorkers.”
Videos showed the attacker kicking the woman in the stomach, knocking her to the ground and stamping on her at least three times before walking away without anyone trying to protect her. One man shut the door of a nearby building without attending the victim, the footage showed.
“It also was incredibly disheartening how the bystanders in this case, the personnel at the building, did nothing and apparently didn’t even go to the woman’s aid after it was clear that she was in distress,” New York City Mayoral Candidate, Andrew Yang, said during a campaign event at a Brooklyn church.
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said last week that targeting anyone “because of the color of their skin, the religion they worship, their sexual preference or anything else” would not be tolerated.
New York City launched plans last week to deploy an all-Asian undercover police team to combat a rise in hate crimes against Asians, which included shooting attacks at Atlanta-area spas this month in which six Asian women were killed.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by 149% in 2020 in 16 major cities compared with 2019, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
(Production by: Dan Fastenberg and Andrew Hofstetter)