A 61-year-old Chinese immigrant who was brutally attacked last April while collecting cans on a New York City street has died from his injuries, authorities said.
Yao Pan Ma had remained hospitalized and never regained consciousness following the assault in East Harlem, a family spokesperson said. He died on Dec. 31, police said Saturday.
Jarrod Powell, 49, was initially charged with attempted murder and two counts of assault as a hate crime in the attack, charges he pleaded not guilty to.
The case has now been designated a homicide following Ma’s death, police told HuffPost on Monday, though upgraded charges had not yet been filed.
Ma’s wife has said that he was collecting cans to make ends meet after losing his restaurant job because of the pandemic. That’s when surveillance video captured a man knocking him to the ground from behind on the night of April 23. Ma’s head was then repeatedly kicked and stomped on.
Powell, who according to the New York Post has had at least 15 arrests dating back to 1988, was arrested shortly after a manhunt was launched for Ma’s attacker.
Powell’s attorney did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment Monday.