Yonkers, New York man charged with punching Asian woman over 125 arrested in violent hate crime

YONKERS, Westchester County – A Yonkers, New York man is charged with a hate crime after police say he violently attacked a 67-year-old Asian woman as she entered an apartment building.

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Tammel Esco, 42, was arrested on Friday and charged with attempted murder as a hate crime and assault as a hate crime – both violent crimes.

Police say he approached the victim from behind just after 6 p.m. on Friday and struck her hard on the head, knocking her to the ground.

Esco then allegedly went on to punch the victim more than 100 times, stomping on his upper body seven times, and then spitting on him.

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Moments before the attack, officials said he called it a racial slur.

Neighbors who spoke with our sister station WABC-TV said the victim is not bothering anyone.

Police Commissioner John Mueller called it one of the most appalling attacks he had ever seen.

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“It’s one of the most appalling attacks I’ve ever seen; beating a helpless woman is despicable and targeting her because of her race makes it even more so,” he said. “This defendant must be given the maximum sentence allowed by law to send a clear message that hateful and violent behavior will not be tolerated in our communities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family, that she can make a full recovery.”

Other tenants in the building say the suspect lives there.

“I had an altercation with him, not physically, but something he did to my granddaughter,” a neighbor said. “I don’t understand how he came back here after doing what he did. He tracked her down and threw her out the window there.”

The victim was taken to hospital where he is being treated for a cerebral hemorrhage, facial fractures, contusions and lacerations to the head and face. It is said to be stable.

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“Our hearts are broken for the victim. The District Attorney’s Office will continue to work with the Yonkers Police Department to investigate and obtain justice for her and to support her and her family during this difficult time,” said Miriam Rocah, DA of Westchester County. “We also understand that many in the community may be experiencing 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, offering training and sensitization on hate and bias offenses in local schools, senior centers and other community organizations.”

If anyone has been the victim of a hate crime or bias incident, or has more information about this case, call the district attorney’s office at (914) 995-TIPS.

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