A 65-year-old woman was brutally assaulted in broad daylight in Midtown Manhattan on Monday, representing yet another jarring reminder of the rise in hate crimes against people of Asian descent in the United States.
The attack happened near a busy roundabout where a surveillance camera showed an unidentified man punching and kicking the woman while she was on her way to church, according to reports.
The assailant, who remains unidentified, reportedly stomped on the woman’s chest and head after she had crashed to the ground. He also made anti-Asian remarks during the attack.
The victim was later hospitalized with what the police described as “serious injuries.”
The viral video released by the Manhattan police drew widespread anger and outrage at growing incidents of hate crimes perpetrated against people of color.
Police in Manhattan say the hunt to identify the attacker has been launched.
The Asian Hate Crime Task force said the security guard shown on video failed to help the victim while calling for help to identify the assailant.
Help identify the below individual wanted in connection to an assault. On Monday, March 29th at 11:40 AM, at 360 West 43rd St, a female, 65, was approached by an unidentified male who punched and kicked her about the body and made anti-Asian statements. Info?☎️1-800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/LkwfYhMCLr— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) March 29, 2021
The latest attack in Midtown Manhattan comes as law enforcement authorities say they are investigating the thrashing of an Asian man in a Brooklyn subway, which was recorded in a TikTok video that has already clocked over 2 million views.
The attacker, who has not been identified yet, repeatedly punched the man and put him in a chokehold until he passed out.
It came after a gunman on March 16 went on a shooting rampage in the Atlanta area, Georgia, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent.
According to statistics compiled by Stop AAPI Hate, around 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents were reported nationwide last year.
According to New York police, there have been at least 33 hate crimes against people of Asian descent in the city so far this year.
Hate crimes on rise in US
Violence attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have seen an alarming and disturbing surge in recent years, which many activists have attributed to former US president Donald Trump and his aides for using xenophobic language against the vulnerable communities.
The incidents of hate crime particularly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian Americans were falsely accused of spreading the virus and asked to go back to their home countries. Elderly Asians were violently attacked by strangers on pavements for no apparent reason.
Before the massacre at Atlanta-area spas, many incidents had been reported across the country while many incidents remained unreported.
In an incident that has come to light now, an Asian man in Washington said he was punched in the face in an unprovoked attack near Cleveland Park earlier this month.
The victim, Mintaro Oba, who is of Japanese descent, said he was strolling on the Wisconsin Avenue near his home on Rodman Street on March 1 when a stranger came out of nowhere and punched him in the face, which resulted in his bleeding.
“I suddenly felt a sucker punch to the side,” Oba was quoted as saying. “I was knocked to the ground and found myself bleeding from my mouth with a lacerated lip and loss of a front tooth.”
The attack on Oba came as Asian Americans, local leaders and other community advocates had started campaigning to demand an end to hate crimes towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In the same area, on March 19, an Asian woman alleged that she was knocked off her bike by a man who hit her in the head and face. She fled the scene on foot, according to a police report.
Last week, in Philadelphia, a viral video showed an Asian American shop worker being viciously assaulted. The incident took place as people in the city were organizing a protest against hate crimes.
Although the graphic video showed a police car in the background when the assault took place, a police spokesperson sounded apologetic, evading the blame.