An Asian woman was struck in the head with a hammer in Midtown Manhattan by a woman who rounded on her for wearing a face mask, police say.
According to the police, the 31-year-old victim was confronted by another woman – said by an eyewitness to have been drunk – in Hell’s Kitchen around 8.45pm on Sunday.
‘Take off your mask,’ the attacker was said to have demanded.
When the woman refused to remove her mask, the assailant allegedly whacked her with a hammer before fleeing on foot east on West 42nd Street toward Ninth Avenue.
A bystander shared video from the scene on Citizen, showing the victim inside an ambulance – and claiming that the attacker had been intoxicated.
This is the moment a 31 year-old Asian woman was loaded into the back of an ambulance in Hell’s Kitchen on Sunday after she was attacked with a hammer for wearing a face mask, according to police
The attack took place outside the Manhattan Plaza complex in Hell’s Kitchen on Sunday evening, pictured, along the bustling ninth avenue
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last week announced that the state will adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance on mask use, which states that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks outdoors, except in crowded settings.
The victim of Sunday’s attack was taken to NYU Langone Heath in stable condition to be treated for non-life-threatening lacerations.
The suspect was described as a woman in her 50s, about 5 foot 9 inches tall, wearing black jeans and a black tank top.
The NYPD said in an email to the DailyMail.com on Monday that the attack ‘has been deemed possible bias’ and the agency’s Hate Crimes Task Force was looking into it.
No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon.
Police say a tall woman in her 50s, who was possibly drunk, accosted the victim, who is pictured being taken to NYU Langone Health with non-life-threatening injuries
New York City has seen a wave of anti-Asian assaults since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, a 61-year-old Chinese immigrant had his head stomped on at least a half-dozen times while he was collecting cans in East Harlem.
Jarrod Powell, a 49-year-old homeless man with a lengthy criminal record, was later arrested and charged with attempted murder in that case.
In March, a Filipina-American woman was knocked to the ground and stomped on by a parolee who was previously convicted of killing his mother.
Police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, but no arrests have been made as of Monday afternoon
A report from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that anti‐Asian hate crimes surged 149 per cent while overall hate crime dropped 7 per cent in 2020.
The report indicated that the rise in anti-Asian crimes was attributed to ‘a rise in COVID cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic.’
Former President Donald Trump repeatedly called COVID-19 the ‘Chinese virus,’ and was accused of stoking hatred towards Asian-American people.