NEW YORK – An Asian American woman was attacked in broad daylight and had anti-Asian insults hurled at her by her attacker as she walked down a Midtown Manhattan street, New York City police said Tuesday.
The woman, 65, was hospitalized with serious injuries after a man punched, kicked and stomped on her Monday in front of an apartment building on 43rd street, police said, while staff in the building appeared to standby without intervening.
In a statement, NYPD called the incident “a hate crime assault” and said its Hate Crime Task Force was investigating.
Unsettling surveillance video from inside showed the woman passing in front of the building’s open front doors when the attacker appears in the frame and immediately kicks the woman, knocking her to the ground. The man then kicks and stomps on the woman multiple times before walking away.
After the scene unfolds, the staff inside the apartment building appear to close the door without helping the woman.
The incident occurred just before noon on Monday. NYPD released photos of the suspect Tuesday and said they were also seeking tips from the public for information about the attack.
The woman was taken to NYU Langone Hospital and was in stable condition, police said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the video “absolutely disgusting and outrageous” and said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses did not intervene.
“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” de Blasio told reporters Tuesday at a news conference. “If you see someone being attacked, do whatever you can. Make noise. Call out what’s happening. Go and try and help. Immediately call for help. Call 911. This is something where we all have to be part of the solution. We can’t just stand back and watch a heinous act happening.”
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told NY1 that the attack was “disgusting.” “I don’t know who attacks a 65-year-old woman and leaves her on the street like that,” Shea added in an interview with the TV station.
“This is absolutely vile. These attacks against Asian-American New Yorkers must end. Hate has no place here and we must always call it out when we see it,” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted.
In a statement, The Brodsky Organization, the building’s management company, said it had suspended the staff members who did not intervene in the incident pending an investigation.
“The Brodsky Organization condemns all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and violence against the Asian American community,” the company said in a statement.
The incident follows a concerning spike in anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 3,795 incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021. The organization said that number is “only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur.”
Earlier this month, a gunman opened fire at three Atlanta-area spas, killing eight people, mostly women of Asian descent.
In the wake of the shootings, donations and pledges to Asian American and Pacific Islander groups have spiked, with about $24 million being pledged by nearly 30 philanthropic donors, according to an Associated Press’ review of an analysis by the philanthropy research group Candid.
Contributing: The Associated Press