*The report below includes an act of violence which may be triggering to some readers.
The NYPD is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect who brutally assaulted a 65-year-old Asian American woman who was on her way to to church. The incident comes as the height of attacks against members of the AAPI community, fueled by hateful rhetoric over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police released surveillance video which captured the event which took place on Monday morning around 11:40 a.m. in front of a Midtown Manhattan building.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the attack as a hate crime.
In the video, a Black man approaches the woman on the sidewalk and kicks her in the stomach, forcing the woman to fall to the ground. He can then be seen kicking her multiple times in the head, while reportedly hurling anti-Asian statements before walking away from the scene of the crime.
However, one of the most disturbing moments occurred when several witnesses failed to intervene in helping the woman. A man who is dressed as a delivery worker stops suddenly as the man hits the woman with the first blow and continues watching as she falls to the ground helpless. Soon after, multiple men dressed in suits walk up to the door, while one of them shuts the door as the woman lies on the ground after the attack.
The woman sustained multiple injuries including bruising and swelling, but is now in stable condition.
Crime Stoppers released images of the suspect, who was captured wearing a tan jacket and jeans, sporting a low haircut.
On their official Instagram account the building’s owners, The Brodsky Organization, announced the suspension of staff members who watched idly and failed to intervene.
The statement also said the organization was was working to identify the third-party delivery door vendor who was captured in the lobby at the start of the attack.
“The Brodsky Organization condemns all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and violence against the Asian American community,” the statement concludes.
Police are also investigating a second attack on Monday after subway riders were caught violently attacking an Asian American man on the train.
Anyone with information on both attacks is urged to call the New York City Police Department’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
In New York City, the NYPD has ramped up their surveillance in AAPI communities throughout the city after a deadly shooting in the Atlanta region claimed the lives of eight people, six of whom were Asian-American women. According to ABC News, from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021, there were more than 3,795 hate incidents against AAPI community members in the United States.
The violence marks a difficult turning point, where violent rhetoric remains around the COVID-19 pandemic after health organizations claimed the virus originated in Wuhan, China. Since last year, public officials like Trump helped fuel the hate by calling the virus the “China virus” or the “kung flu.”