NEW YORK (PIX11) — Police have launched an investigation into at least three attacks on the Asian American community in New York City within the last 24 hours.
There have been more than a dozen anti-Asian assaults in the city so far this year, according to local activist Karlin Chan. At least three of the incidents occurred in Manhattan on Sunday, police said.
Just after 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a 37-year-old woman heading to an anti-Asian violence protest was approached by a man who took her sign and stomped on it, police said. When the victim questioned his actions, the suspect punched her twice in the face and fled to the Astor Place subway station, cops said. The victim was taken to the hospital for a cut and bruising to her lip and a sprained ankle she got while running after the suspect.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force has launched an investigation into the attack.
A 41-year-old Asian woman was randomly assaulted in Midtown around 1 p.m. Sunday, police said. The victim was grabbed from behind by another woman and thrown to the ground while walking along West 31 Street near Sixth Avenue, police said.
Police were flagged down and located the suspect, who was taken into custody. Authorities are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime.
About three hours later, police responded to a report of an Asian woman attacked with a metal pipe in the Lower East Side. The 54-year-old victim was walking near Grand and Ludlow streets around 4:44 p.m. when a man approached her with a metal pipe and yelled an anti-Asian slur and struck her in the face, police said.
The victim suffered cuts to her eye and nose and was treated at the hospital. The suspect, 38-year-old Elias Guerro, was taken into custody and faces several charges, including hate crime assault, resisting arrest and criminal possession of an alleged substance, according to police.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered over the weekend to show solidarity with New York City’s Asian communities amid a surge in violent crimes.
The NYPD started an Asian Hate Crime Task Force in 2020 amid increasing attacks as the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has said that he thinks anti-Asian crimes are higher than reported because not everyone has come forward to report incidents.