The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force has asked for the public’s help in locating a person who viciously hit an Asian woman on the head with a hammer after the attacker asked him to and her friend take off their masks.
Investigators posted a disturbing video of Sunday’s confrontation in Midtown Manhattan when the attacker, who appeared to be a woman dressed in black, demanded that the two Asian pedestrians remove their masks.
“She was talking to herself … I thought maybe she was drunk or something, so we just wanted to get past her quickly,” the 31-year-old victim, identified only as Theresa, told ABC-TV Channel 7 in New York.
“When I passed her she saw us and said, ‘Take off your f ** king mask,’ which is shocking. Suddenly I felt my head hit by something.
Theresa was rushed to hospital, where she needed stitches for a gash in her forehead and another cut in her head, according to ABC.
“My mom actually told me, ‘Be careful, there is a lot of Asian crime in America,’” Theresa said. The recent Manhattan Fashion Institute of Technology graduate plans to return to Taiwan now. If the right job presents itself, she says, she will return to New York when it is safer.
Asian hate crimes skyrocketed 150% in the country’s largest cities last year over the previous year, according to a recent study, after former President Donald Trump repeatedly blamed the Chinese for COVID-19 and called the pandemic a “Chinese virus” and “Kung flu.”
The problem was particularly pronounced in New York City, which recorded 28 anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020, down from just three in 2019.
In March, an elderly Asian woman was thrown to the ground and repeatedly beaten by a passer-by who shouted insults at her outside a Manhattan apartment building. The attack was captured by a security camera which also showed construction workers watching the assault and closing the door rather than trying to intervene.
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