NYPD Investigating Possible Asian Hate Crime Inside Manhattan 7-Eleven

Police say a worker was punched in the face and called an anti-Asian slur. CBS2's Kiran Dhillon has the story.

Video Transcript

- Developing story right now in Manhattan. An attack on a 7-Eleven worker is being investigated as a possible hate crime. The victim was punched in the face and called an anti Asian slur. CBS 2's Kiran Dhillon live outside the store tonight with the very latest. Kiran.

KIRAN DHILLONl: Jessica, the police say the incident took place inside this 7-Eleven here behind me in Midtown. Employees say they're now shaken up by what happened, upset by the violence and the hate. Now the incident happened around 5:30 Saturday morning. Police say a 27-year-old Asian employee noticed a man was attempting to steal merchandise from the store. He stepped in to stop him and was punched in the face.

Now during the assault, the male suspect yelled an anti-Asian slur at the employee. Police are now searching for that man. Now this latest incident comes amid an increase in anti-Asian attacks here in the city. Earlier today, a rally against anti-Asian hate took place in Foley Square with protesters then marching across the Brooklyn Bridge. In New York City as of March 28th, police say there have been 33 anti-Asian hate crime victims, compared to just 11 during the same period last year. The crime is disturbing to so many New Yorkers.

SIQI ZHAO: It's a tragedy because I think nobody should be living in fear and that's Asians ourselves. I can personally attest to like walking on the streets these days, it adds to an extra level of anxiety that I haven't felt before. And I feel like that's just not the feeling that anyone deserves in this country.

SHERRY HE: I think I'm a bit numb. I'm not even surprised when you said that because that corner always had that issue.

KIRAN DHILLONl: Now as for the victim in this latest case, police say he suffered bruising and a cut to his eye. Anyone with information is asked to call police. We're live tonight in Midtown. Kiran Dhillon, CBS 2 News.