After the spate of shocking hate crimes in Oakland that’s set the community on edge, New York is now seeing its own wave of anti-Asian violence.
A 53-year-old woman was attacked and left unconscious on a Queens sidewalk Wednesday in the third apparent hate crime against an Asian American in NYC in a 36-hour period.
The woman was waiting on line outside a Queens bakery when a maskless man came out of a coffee shop and yelled at her to move away, according to NBC New York. He aggressively approached her, then threw a container of spoons at her head before pushing her to the ground. The woman used pepper spray to try and fend off the attack, but the man shoved her, leaving her unconscious, according to a Facebook post by her daughter.
“I am heartbroken and devastated,” Maggie Kayla Cheng wrote about the attack on her mom. “This douchebag was yelling out racial slurs … Hate crime has no place in our community.”
Cheng’s mother went to the hospital where she received treatment for a gash on her head and was eventually released. NBC New York reported that she’s recovering well.
Actress Olivia Munn tweeted that the victim was her friend’s mom and rallied the public’s help in finding the assailant. Munn, who’s half Asian herself, has been a strong advocate for change and denouncing Asian-American hate crimes, and posted on Instagram calling for everyone to join in solidarity with the Asian community.
About 24 hours later, nearby resident Patrick Mateo was apprehended by NYPD detectives, according to NYPD News. The NYPD cited major help from public calls to its hotline. Mateo’s been charged with assault and harassment.
“Ohmygod you guys!!! I’m beyond grateful to all of you for caring and posting and retweeting and FINDING THIS GUY!!! I love you all so much,” Munn said on Twitter. “The Asian community felt your outrage and support and YOU GUYS DID THIS!! Thank you thank you thank you thank you.”
This attack comes as hate crimes against Asian-Americans are surging across the country, including assaults in Oakland, California, and vandalism in Portland. Racially motivated attacks against Asians have been occurring throughout the pandemic, spurred by racially-charged rhetoric around COVID-19.
In New York this week, besides the attack on Cheng’s mom, two other Asian-Americans were attacked in separate incidents on the subway only hours apart.
According to the New York Post, a 58-year-old woman was sucker-punched in the back of her head early Tuesday as she waited on the platform for the A train. She walked away unphased and refused medical attention after reporting the crime.
Hours later, a 71-year-old woman was hit in the body and face by an assailant while on a moving subway near Times Square., the New York Post reported. The victim is recovering.