A good Samaritan tried to intervene and several other strangers helped protect the victim as the attacker raged on.
- Thank you. Tonight, a disturbing attack on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A whacko following an Asian American man down the street then throwing him into the glass window of a store. This is exclusive video of the man spewing vile against many different races. Now cops try to figure out if the victim was targeted because he's Asian. Here's Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger.
- I'mma kill you!
JOSH EINIGER: The shouts reverberated through the neighborhood.
- I'm going to kill somebody! Get out of my face!
JOSH EINIGER: A man ranting and raving after attacking an innocent victim in broad daylight.
- Sir, are you OK? Do you want me to call the police?
- No, no. It's OK.
- No, I mean-- he, he hurt you. He pushed you against the window. Are you OK?
- Yeah, I'm OK.
JOSH EINIGER: It happened in the middle of the afternoon at 72nd and Lex on the Upper East Side. Surveillance video shows the man closely following his victim, an Asian man a fraction his size, who tried to evade his pursuer by walking in the street. But the suspect followed and a few seconds later, body slammed him into a plate glass storefront before chasing him down the block. A good Samaritan tried to get between them and later, several strangers protected the victim as the attacker raged on.
- Get out of my face! Get the [MUTED] out of here!
JOSH EINIGER: The shocking broad daylight attack comes at a time when anti-Asian violence has skyrocketed citywide. As of today, 54 verified cases so far this year compared to just 12 in all of last year. Though when it comes to hate, it isn't clear today's suspect was all that discriminating. He went after this woman too.
- He was saying [MUTED] people, [MUTED] Chinese, [MUTED] the Spanish and white people. And then he said, "You want me to kill you, [MUTED]?" I just don't want to say these kind of things.
JOSH EINIGER: But did he actually get close to you? Did he touch you?
- Yes, he was pushing and kicking us away. And that really scared-- that's so, so scary, that's crazy.
JOSH EINIGER: So far, police have not classified this as a hate crime, but they are looking at it closely. Meantime, cops were here quickly but the suspect was gone. They're still searching for him and hoping for the public's help. On the Upper East Side, Josh Einiger, Channel 7 Eyewitness News.