A woman has been charged with assault after attacking an Asian pet owner who confronted a boy for allegedly hurting her cat.
The incident at Brooklyn's McCarren Park on April 4 resulted in the death of the said cat, an Instagram star named Ponzu, and massive calls for justice on social media.
In a bystander video, pet owner Chanan Aksornnan, also known as Chef Bao Bao, is seen being assaulted by multiple individuals believed to be the boy's family members.
Ponzu died shortly after the attack, while her three surviving pets — a dog (Tofu), a parrot (Mango) and another cat (Kimchi) — all suffered from trauma.
TW⚠️ Asian Hate ฝากรีค่ะ
ที่NYC คนไทยพาหมา แมว และนก ไปเดินเล่มตามปกติ จู่ๆก็มีเด็ก12ขวบ มาดึงสายคล้องแมวแล้วลากแมวไปกับพื้น โยนแมวขึ้นฟ้าจนน้องตกลงมา เล็บน้องหลุดหมด ในที่สุดน้องตาย ทำร้ายนก ทำร้ายหมา ครอบครัวเด็กนั่นยังเข้าทำร้ายร่างกายอีก แถมตำรวจไม่รับเรื่อง #justiceforponzu pic.twitter.com/C5HPlW74PX
— ₛₑₚₜₑₘbₑᵣ ✨ (@fluffydofluf) April 20, 2021
On Wednesday, New York police confirmed the arrest of 42-year-old Evelyn Serrano, according to Voice of America reporter Janine Phakdeetham.
*BREAKING* NYPD has just confirmed with me that Evelyn Serrano, a 42-year-old female of Brooklyn, New York is charged with assault #justiceforponzu
— Janine Phakdeetham (@NeenyPhak) April 22, 2021
Serrano allegedly punched and kicked Aksornnan, resulting in cuts and bruises to her body.
It's unclear whether Serrano is related to the boy who allegedly started the whole incident.
Outraged social media users have so far identified two other individuals involved in the attack.
View this post on Instagram
Another woman, believed to be the boy’s mother, allegedly described the incident as an “accident”and argued that “both parties have to be accountable for their actions.”
"It was an accident and kids will be kid [sic]. What happened after was not indicative of who we are as people but things escalated quickly," the woman allegedly wrote in a now-inaccessible Facebook post.
She allegedly accused Aksornnan of "putting her hands on" the minor involved. She also denied hate against Asians.
"This has nothing to do with Asian hate. I have friends that are Asian."
Julie Yvette Rodriguez + company are vile people. A cat died, a parrot was punched, a dog was harassed , chef Bao Bao beaten, and her bf had to get surgery.... #JusticeForPonzu #StopAsianHate #AnimalCruelty pic.twitter.com/hjZs0jGuUS
— Jowin Marie Batoon 🇵🇭 (@jowinbatoon) April 22, 2021
A screenshot of a comment shows the woman’s alleged profile using the phrase "ching ching."
Social media users claimed to have also identified the man in a hoodie filmed in the video.
In another comment, a profile bearing the man’s name responded to a critic with an anti-Asian stereotype.
“Don’t you eat cat?” the man allegedly asked.
Mark Anthony Rodriguez feedback feeds to the Asian stereotype. His ignorance is blinding. #StopAsianHate #stopasianracism #fedex #fedex #RacismInAmerica #asianstereotype #nypd #justiceforponzu #julieyvetterodriguez #nyc pic.twitter.com/B0S8R1ra7a
— Madeline Cha (@madelinean33) April 22, 2021
Ponzu has since been cremated and brought home to his family. As of this writing, the hashtag #JusticeForPonzu continues to make waves on multiple social media platforms.
Aksornnan has organized a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the legal battle ahead of her family. It has raised over $46,000 of its $50,000 goal.
"The emotional stress and a heartache from losing our beloved cat and watching his last moments is tormenting us to this day," she wrote. "By donating to this fund, you will help us in pursuing justice and in the legal fight that is ahead of us. You will help us keep the attackers with no empathy to animals nor humans accountable. You will help us seek reforms to existing laws, such as giving additional legal rights to pet/animal owners."
No other arrests have been made to date.
Featured Images via @ponzucoolcat (left) and Reddit (right)
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