Hate Crimes Unit investigates punching, choking of Asian man on NYC subway

New York News

NEW YORK (PIX11) — The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit launched an investigation into a video showing a man beating an Asian man relentlessly aboard a subway car before choking him until he appears to be unconscious.

Originally posted on Twitter by user @AsianDawn4 early Monday, the tweet of the video purports the violent incident took place aboard a Manhattan-bound J train at the Kosciuszko Street station in Bushwick. Police have not confirmed these details.

The nearly minute-long video appears to begin with a scuffle between the two men already in progress. The footage shows a man dressed in all black repeatedly punch the Asian man down to the subway seat. He then wraps his arm around the other man’s neck, putting him in what appears to be a chokehold.

Warning: Some readers may find the video below disturbing.

You can hear bystanders on the train telling the man to stop multiple times as he appears to choke the man for nearly 15 seconds before he shoves the victim’s head and body toward the subway seat.

The Asian man’s body falls to the train floor, his head flopping back as if he might be unconscious. The attacker is then seen walking off the train at the station.

NYPD Hate Crimes reposted the video on Twitter around 10:30 a.m. Monday, writing that they were aware of the video and investigating the incident.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact the NYPD. Send a direct message on Twitter to the @NYPDTips account.

Interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg called the video “horrifying and gut wrenching,” and pledged to assist the NYPD, which is responsible for policing the system. 

“Beyond this single incident, assaults on transit workers, felony and misdemeanor assaults, robberies, and myriad ‘quality of life’ crimes are at unacceptable levels. I have called on the City and the NYPD to target additional law enforcement and mental health resources into the subway system, as soon as possible. While we have seen some additional resources from the City, sufficient resources have simply not been forthcoming. I call on the City again to provide the additional policing and mental health resources needed to address this crisis in our system,” she said. 

The clip surfaces amid a surge of anti-Asian bias incidents and hate crimes across the metropolitan area.

Prior to Sunday, there have been at least 27 additional anti-Asian incidents this year, including 12 assaults, compared with eight at the same time last year, according to Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey, commanding officer of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

The NYPD announced on Thursday it planned to increase outreach and patrols in Asian communities. The department is sending undercover officers to neighborhoods with significant Asian populations in an attempt to prevent and disrupt attacks, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

The NYPD started an Asian Hate Crime Task Force last year amid increasing attacks as the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States.

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly used xenophobic terms to refer to the virus that originated in China’s Wuhan province. Critics say the former president’s language stoked violence against Asian Americans and immigrants.

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