A 61-year-old Chinese-American man who was the victim of a so-called “outrageous” attack was in critical but stable condition in a New York hospital on Sunday.
Police said the man was collecting cans in East Harlem on Friday night when he was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked in the head. The surveillance video released by the police appears to show the attacker stomping on the man’s head.
It was the latest example of a worrying surge in attacks against Asians across the country, believed to be largely due to misdirected anger over the Chinese-born coronavirus pandemic.
At the end of March, a 65-year-old Asian American woman was hospitalized with serious injuries after a man punched, kicked and trampled her while offering anti-Asian slurs on a Manhattan street. Similar incidents have been documented in other cities, particularly cities with large Asian populations such as San Francisco and Oakland, California.
In March the organization Stop AAPI Hate – founded last year in response to increased exposure to Asian Americans and islanders in the Pacific during the pandemic – said it had received reports of nearly 3,800 hate incidents in a year, and estimated that this was only a fraction of the real number.
Former President Donald Trump often referred to as the “Chinese virus” or “Kung flu”. widespread criticism of the racial connotations of the terms.
Last week the US Senate passed legislation aimed at combating the rise in hate crimes against members of the AAPI community.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the latest attack was “outrageous” and vowed to take action against the attacker, who remains at large.
“Make no mistake, we will find the culprit and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” tweeted de Blasio.
The police hate crime task force is investigating, and Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he would direct the state’s hate crime task force to offer assistance.
“I am sick when I learn of another violent act against an Asian American,” the governor said in a statement. “This is not who we are as New Yorkers, and we are not going to be intimidated by these cowardly acts of hatred against members of our New York family.”
Police did not disclose the victim’s name, but several news outlets identified him as Yao Pan Ma, a former restaurant worker who lost his job because of the pandemic and was trying to make money collecting cans.
Contributor: The Associated Press