NEW YORK CITY (WPIX) — Police are trying to identify a man accused of punching and kicking a woman as he made anti-Asian remarks toward her Monday, officials said.
The incident occurred shortly before 12 p.m. in Midtown Manhattan. Authorities said a 65-year-old woman was approached by a suspect who punched and kicked her, causing her to fall to the ground; he also made anti- Asian statements toward her.
After the woman fell to the ground, the suspect continued to kick her multiple times before fleeing the scene, officials said.
Law enforcement sources said the man told the victim “you don’t belong here,” along with other anti-Asian comments. The woman sustained serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, police said.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.
Building staff seen in the video are also facing scrutiny for not seemingly doing enough immediately after the attack. Building owner The Brodsky Organization said in a statement late Monday night that building staff who witnessed the attack were “suspended pending an investigation in conjunction with their union.”
The developer also said it was working to identify a third-party delivery worker who was allegedly present during the incident, “so that appropriate action can be taken.”
The attack comes on the heels of several attacks on Asian New Yorkers.
There have been at least 28 anti-Asian incidents this year, including at least 13 assaults, compared with eight at the same time last year, according to data from Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey, commanding officer of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Monday, a Twitter user posted disturbing video of an attack on a New York City subway; it shows a man beating an Asian rider relentlessly before choking him until he appears to be unconscious.
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.