An arrest has been made in Friday night’s brutal assault of a 61-year-old Asian man on a New York City street, authorities said Tuesday.
Jarrod Powell, 49, in updated charges announced later in the day, faces charges of attempted murder and two counts of felony assault as a hate crime in the disturbing attack in East Harlem that left the man in critical condition, the New York City Police Department said.
The victim, previously identified by local news outlets as Yao Pan Ma, was knocked from behind to the ground; his head was then repeatedly kicked and stomped on. The disturbing attack was captured on surveillance video and mirrors a similar assault against an Asian American woman near Times Square in March. That attack ended with the man’s arrest on assault and hate crime charges.
Nationwide, there has been a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ma’s family has said he remains in a coma following the attack.
“I’m worried,” his niece told local station PIX 11 News on Monday night. “He’s not awake yet.”
Ma’s wife, in an earlier interview with the New York Post, identified her husband as a former restaurant worker who lost his job in the city due to the pandemic. He was out collecting cans to make ends meet at the time of the assault.
“My husband made fancy desserts in China,” Baozhen Chen told the paper. “We came here for the job opportunity two years ago. He lost his job because of COVID-19. So, he did whatever he could to help support and pay bills.”
New York Assemblyman Ron Kim on Monday shared a link on Twitter to the family’s official GoFundMe account, which is raising funds to support Ma’s family.