A 65-year-old Asian American woman was knocked to the ground Monday and repeatedly kicked outside a luxury New York City apartment building as staff members appeared to watch without coming to her aid, according to surveillance video of the incident.
The New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assault, and the staff members who witnessed it have been suspended, officials said.
The attack unfolded about 11:40 a.m. Monday in the 300 block of West 43rd Street, which is in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, police said.
Police released video that captured a man kicking the victim in her stomach, causing her to fall to the ground. The man then stomped the woman's head multiple times while making anti-Asian statements, police said.
Video appeared to show that as the assault continued, at least three people in the lobby of the apartment stood by and watched. One of them closed the door as the assailant walked away and left the woman on the ground, the video showed.
"The victim sustained a serious physical injury and was removed by EMS to NYU Langone Hospital," police said in a statement. She was discharged Tuesday.
Police released photos of the man, who remains at large. Police hope someone can help them identify him.
Help identify the below individual wanted in connection to an assault. On Monday, March 29th at 11:40 AM, at 360 West 43rd St, a female, 65, was approached by an unidentified male who punched and kicked her about the body and made anti-Asian statements. Info?☎️1-800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/LkwfYhMCLr
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) March 29, 2021
Early Tuesday, the Brodsky Organization, the company that manages the luxury apartments, said in a statement posted on Instagram that it "condemns all forms of violence, racism, xenophobia, and violence against the Asian American community."
The company said that "the staff who witnessed the attack have been suspended pending an investigation in conjunction with their union" and that it was working to identify a "third-party vendor present during the incident so that appropriate action can be taken."
Officials decried the attack, which City Council Speaker Corey Johnson described on Twitter as "absolutely vile."
"These attacks against Asian-American New Yorkers must end," he tweeted. "Hate has no place here and we must always call it out when we see it."
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.
My office is reaching out to the precinct and will do anything we can to be of assistance. https://t.co/8cBOniIORC
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) March 30, 2021
City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a mayoral candidate, said the attack was "absolutely disgusting."
"Asian Americans belong in New York and are an integral part of our city," Stringer tweeted. "We have to continue to speak out, we have to continue to protect our AAPI neighbors, and we have to act immediately to #StopAsianHate."
This is absolutely disgusting. Asian Americans belong in New York and are an integral part of our city.
We have to continue to speak out, we have to continue to protect our AAPI neighbors, and we have to act immediately to #StopAsianHate. https://t.co/118VqLkq9b
— Scott Stringer (@scottmstringer) March 30, 2021
Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., who has spearheaded legislation to combat hate crimes related to the Covid-19 pandemic, said the video embodied the lack of empathy toward Asian Americans.
"We've gone from being invisible to being seen as sub-human," Meng tweeted. "We just want to be seen as American like everyone else."
We’ve gone from being invisible to being seen as sub-human. We just want to be seen as American like everyone else. https://t.co/hcLovVbrOH
— Grace Meng (@Grace4NY) March 30, 2021
The incident, one of two violent attacks captured on camera in New York City recently, was the latest in a wave of crimes against Asian Americans across the country. An analysis of police department statistics this month revealed that 16 major cities across the U.S. experienced significant spikes in anti-Asian hate crimes last year.
The analysis, released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that while hate crimes decreased overall by 7 percent last year, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.
New York accounted for the largest surge from three in 2019 to 28 in 2020, an 833 percent increase.