YONKERS, NY – A New York man has been charged with attempted second degree murder as a hate crime after police say he punched a 67-year-old Asian American woman more than 100 times , stomped on her seven times and spat on her. an attack that was captured on video.
The suspect, Tammel Esco, 42, used the word “Asian” when he insulted the woman before attacking her on Friday, Yonkers police say. He is also charged with one count of second degree assault as a hate crime.
Surveillance video captured the violence, which lasted over 90 seconds as the woman was beaten and left on the ground by the attacker inside his building.
The attack unfolded amid an increase in hate crimes and attacks against people of Asian descent across the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including many in the New York area. .
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“This is one of the most appalling attacks I have ever seen; beating a helpless woman is despicable and targeting her because of her race makes it even more so,” Police Commissioner John J. Mueller said in a statement.
The victim, of Asian descent, suffered multiple bruises and lacerations to the head and face, fractured facial bones and bleeding in the brain, police said, adding that she was stable and recovering in a hospital.
“Hate crimes are beyond intolerable in our city,” Mayor Mike Spano said in a statement. “I expect the suspect to be charged to the fullest extent of the law for his heinous acts. I continue to keep the victim and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Esco, whose criminal record includes previous felony convictions, was arraigned in court in Yonkers on Saturday. He is being held without bail at Westchester County Jail and is due back in court on March 25.
Friday, at 6:11 p.m., the police intervened in a building for several reports of an argument.
Officers found the woman with severe facial injuries in the hallway of the building and took her to a trauma center. The suspect was found outside the building and taken into custody without incident, police said.
Esco was initially charged with attempted second degree murder and second degree assault. After a police investigation, he was charged Monday via a felony complaint in lieu of those hate crime charges, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
The Yonkers woman was returning home and saw the suspect outside the building, police said. As she walked past him, he swore at her.
The victim ignored his comment and entered the vestibule. She was trying to open the second door to enter the lobby when, without warning, the suspect approached from behind and punched her in the head, knocking her to the ground, police said. He then stood over her and repeatedly hit her on the head and face.
“Our hearts are broken for the victim,” Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah said. “We also understand that many members of the community may feel fear and trauma as a result of this incident.”
We will continue to work with our community and government partners across the county to provide support to the community, providing training and awareness on hate and bias offenses at local schools, senior centers and other community organizations.
Esco is represented by the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County, which declined to comment.
Esco spent more than two years in prison from 2011 to 2013 after pleading guilty to second-degree assault, a felony, for stabbing his daughter’s mother in their Yonkers apartment in 2010, court records show.
He was previously sentenced to a year in custody after pleading guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance stemming from an arrest in 2009.
Follow Michael P. McKinney on Twitter: @mikemckwrite.