An Asian woman in New York City was attacked in the head with a hammer by a stranger who asked the victim to remove her mask, police said Monday.
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assault. No arrests took place on Tuesday morning.
The attack occurred around 8:40 p.m. ET Sunday in Block 410 of West 42nd Street, which is in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, police said.
Police released surveillance footage showing the moment a woman appeared to approach two Asian women walking on the sidewalk from behind. The woman demanded that they remove their masks before hitting one of them on the head with a hammer, police said.
The victim has been identified as a 31-year-old woman who was taken to hospital with a torn head, authorities said. The other Asian woman, 29, does not appear to have suffered any physical injuries.
The 31-year-old told NBC New York she was “shocked,” adding that she had lived in New York for two years.
“I’ve never faced this sort of thing,” she says. “This has never happened in my life.”
After the attack, the woman with the hammer ran, police said. The authorities are still looking for him.
Hours before the attack, hundreds of New Yorkers, including city officials, gathered at a rally in Flushing, Queens, to denounce the wave of hate crimes against Asian-American communities.
“If you hate it, get out of here because you don’t deserve to live in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at Sunday’s rally.
The “Stop Asian Hate” march came a day after two more Asian Americans were targeted in separate attacks in Queens and Brooklyn, police said, NBC New York reported. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the two incidents.
The hammer attack happened just one block from where a man repeatedly kicked a 65-year-old Asian woman outside an apartment building in luxury as witnesses appeared to be watching in late March.
Authorities arrested the suspect who was already on bail for life for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002. The two building doormen who were filmed watching the attack unfold have been fired, he said. owner of the building.
Last week, a new analysis of hate crime data found that the rise in anti-Asian attacks has remained constant.
The analysis, published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes jumped 169% between the first quarter of 2021 and the same period in 2020 in 15 major cities. .
New York City accounted for the largest increase, from 13 hate crimes in the first quarter of 2020 to 42 during the same period this year – a jump of 223%, according to the study.