NEW YORK (AP) — An Asian American woman was attacked in New York City by a man who repeatedly kicked her as two people nearby who appeared to be security guards did not intervene, according to surveillance footage released by police.
The 65-year-old woman was walking in midtown Manhattan a few blocks from Times Square on Monday afternoon when a man approached her and kicked her in the stomach, knocking her to the ground, police said. The man then stomped on the woman’s face several times while shouting anti-Asian insults at her, police said. He later casually walked away, the footage shows.
The attack comes amid a national spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, and happened just weeks after a mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent. The NYPD says there have been 33 hate crimes with an Asian victim so far this year, news outlets reported.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the video “absolutely disgusting and outrageous” and said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses did not intervene.
“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” de Blasio said Tuesday at his daily news briefing.
“If you see someone being attacked, do whatever you can,” he said. “Make noise. Call out what’s happening. Go and try and help. Immediately call for help. Call 911. This is something where we all have to be part of the solution. We can’t just stand back and watch a heinous act happening.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the attack “horrifying and repugnant.” He ordered the state police’s Hate Crimes Task Force to offer its assistance to the NYPD. The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the attack and has asked anyone with information to contact the department. No arrests have been made.
The woman was hospitalized with serious injuries. She was in stable condition on Tuesday, a hospital spokesperson said.
According to video footage of the New York City assault, the two people who appeared to be security guards walked into the frame and one of them closed the building door as the woman was on the ground.
The property developer and manager of the building, Brodsky Organization, wrote on Instagram that it was aware of the assault and said staff members who witnessed it were suspended pending an investigation.
The head of the union representing building workers disputed allegations that the door staff failed to act. He said the union has information that they called for help immediately.
“Our union is working to get further details for a more complete account, and urges the public to avoid a rush to judgment while the facts are determined,” SEIU 32BJ President Kyle Bragg said in a written statement. He condemned the attack as “yet another example of the unbridled hate and terror” against Asian-Americans.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called Monday’s attack “disgusting.”
“I don’t know who attacks a 65-year-old woman and leaves her on the street like that,” Shea said Tuesday on TV station NY1.
Shea recently said the agency would increase its outreach and patrols in predominantly Asian communities.
According to a report from Stop AAPI Hate, more than 3,795 incidents were reported to the organization from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28. The organization, which tracks incidents of discrimination, hate and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., said that number is “only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur.”