Two Asian women were assaulted in New York on Sunday by a stranger who asked them to remove their masks before hitting one in the head with a hammer, police said.
The two women, 31 and 29 respectively, were walking together in the 410 block of West 42nd Street around 8:40 p.m. when a woman confronted them on the sidewalk, shouting for them to take off their masks, according to the New York City Police Department. She then hit the 31-year-old woman on the head with a hammer, resulting in a laceration, police said.
No arrests took place on Tuesday evening.
“She was talking to herself… I thought maybe she was drunk or something, so we just wanted to get through her quickly,” the victim, who bore her first name, Theresa, told ABC7. “When I walked through her, she saw us and said, ‘Take off your mask,’ which is shocking.”
ABC7 reported that the victim was stable after being rushed to hospital.
Sunday’s alleged assault happened on the same day as hundreds of New Yorkers gathered for a rally condemning the surge in violence against Asians and Asian Americans.
The city has reported 42 hate crime incidents against Asians and Asian Americans, according to the NYPD Hate Crimes Dashboard, which was last updated on April 22 and lists the latest confirmed incident. in March. In the year 2020, the NYPD dashboard showed 28 hate crime incidents.
But the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force said the city recorded 80 anti-Asian hate crimes from January through early April, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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Similar incidents have been documented in other cities, especially those with large Asian populations such as San Francisco and Oakland, California.
In March, the Stop AAPI Hate organization – founded last year in response to increased targeting of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the pandemic – said it had received reports of nearly 3,800 hate incidents in a year and felt it was only a fraction of the real number.
In April, the US Senate passed legislation to address the rise in hate crimes against members of the AAPI community.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned the attack “senseless and despicable” in a statement to NBC.
“I am disgusted by this violent attack in Midtown Manhattan, the latest seemingly senseless and contemptible hate crime against Asian Americans in this state,” Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday. “We will do everything in our power to protect those vulnerable to these attacks and to hold cowardly perpetrators accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”