Elderly Fil-Am violently attacked in New York but onlookers refuse to intervene

The man caught on tape attacking an elderly Filipino-American in New York City. Photo: New York Police Department
The man caught on tape attacking an elderly Filipino-American in New York City. Photo: New York Police Department

A 65-year-old unidentified Filipino-American was viciously attacked by a man in New York City, while bystanders refused to come to her aid.

The New York Police District tweeted yesterday that the woman was attacked on Monday morning “by an unidentified male who punched and kicked her about the body and made anti-Asian statements.” A video circulating online showed the attacker kicking the victim on the stomach and stomping her upper body and head three times after she fell on the ground. The assailant could also be heard shouting “You don’t belong here!” to the elderly Fil-Am. The victim, who was seriously injured, was brought to the NYU Langone Medical Center for treatment.

Read: Hate Crime? Alleged killer of elderly Filipino arrested by Arizona police

The video also showed three men watching the attack from the lobby of a nearby building. None of them offered to help, and one of them even closed the door of the building when the victim tried to stand up. The three bystanders, who were working in the said building, have been suspended from their jobs in the wake of the attack.

The attacker is still at large, and the New York police are offering a US$2500 reward to anyone who can provide information on his whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference that the crime was “absolutely disgusting and outrageous” and added that he found it unacceptable that no one helped the victim.

“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” the mayor said.

Read: Filipino man’s face disfigured after attack in New York subway

New York announced last week that it planned to launch an all-Asian undercover police team to combat the rise in hate crimes. Since the pandemic began, Asian- Americans have become the target of hate crimes. An elderly Thai man out for his morning walk died in January in San Francisco after a teenager barreled through him. A 61-year-old Filipino had his whole face disfigured when he was attacked by a man wielding a box cutter in New York City in February.

Advocates say that the verbal and physical assaults were reminiscent of “yellow peril,” a racist ideology that arose in the 19th century that sees Asians as a threat to the Western world. Such crimes are allegedly linked to the spread of the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

In response, community leaders put up a website called Stop AAPI (Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders) Hate, which began recording instances of such crimes. As of this month, the website has received more than 2,800 first-hand reports of hate crimes, which included verbal harassment (71%), shunning (21%), physical assault (9%), and being spit on (6%).

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