Reported by Jack Davis | June 1, 2021
Violence sprung from the streets of New York City’s Chinatown on Monday, leaving an Asian woman sprawled on the ground after a black man punched her in the face for no apparent reason. Surveillance video posted by Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, whose district includes Chinatown, showed the 55-year-old woman walking past the Kong Sihk Tong café at around 6:15 p.m. A black man in an orange hoodie and denim jacket then punched her square in the face with a hard left. The woman collapsed on the pavement. The attacker then raved at the victim.
“What’d you hit me for?” the attacker said, according to the New York Daily News. “Why’d you hit me?”
Several people went to check on the victim, who remained motionless on the ground. She was later taken to a hospital, reportedly in stable condition.
Police were called and arrested the man at the scene.
The Daily News quoted a source who said the attacker was “homeless, and he has a long criminal record.” The attacker was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Charges are pending.
“Can’t believe I actually witnessed an attack on an Asian lady right in front of me at the heart of NYC Chinatown,” Jin Zhen wrote on Instagram, according to the New York Post.
“When I saw the lady rolled over to the ground and went unconscious I quickly hung up on my food order and start recording the situation for evidence.”
Donald Ng, who works in the area, said that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “needs to do something about this mental health issue.”
“Some customers were calling for help. They said a guy punched a woman. She was sitting there on the sidewalk like she was tired, like she was out,” Chiu Cheng, the restaurant manager, said, according to the Daily News.
“He was crazy. I know it’s serious. I feel sad about it. With all that’s happening, I feel scared. I work at the restaurant late. I’m afraid about walking to the subway at night,” Cheng said.
The issue of bail reform entered the incident after former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik noted that a consequence of bail reform has been putting people such as the attacker on the street.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is looking into the assault, according to WCBS-TV.
Hate crimes against Asians in New York City are up 353 percent over last year.