MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — A man carried out seven assaults on women of Asian descent in just two hours, police said Tuesday.
All of the attacks took place on Sunday in Manhattan, spread across Midtown, Gramercy Park, NoLita and the East Village, police said.
The suspect first struck at about 6:30 p.m. near Madison Avenue and East 30th Street in Midtown, according to the NYPD. He then approached a 57-year-old Asian woman and punched her once in the face; police said the two did not interact at all before the attack.
The man fled northbound toward East 31st Street after the assault, police said. The victim suffered swelling and a cut to her lip, and transported herself to a nearby hospital for treatment.
About 10 minutes later, the same man punched another Asian woman near Fifth Avenue and East 30th Street, according to police.
Once again, police said the man did not speak to the 25-year-old victim before attacking her. The second victim also suffered swelling to her face, but did not seek medical treatment.
The suspect moved to Gramercy Park for his next attack, police said. About 6:45 p.m., near Park Avenue South and East 23rd Street, he approached a 21-year-old Asian woman and punched her in the face — once again, no words were exchanged between the attacker and victim.
The victim of the third attack suffered a laceration and swelling to her mouth, police said. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Five minutes later, near Irving Place and East 17th Street, the man attacked a 25-year-old Asian woman without warning, police said. She suffered a laceration and swelling to her upper lip, but did not require medical treatment.
At about 7:05 p.m., near Union Square East and East 17th Street, the man used his elbow to hit another Asian woman in the face, police said. He did not make any statements before the assault. The 19-year-old victim suffered a laceration but did not need medical treatment.
The next two attacks took place in lower Manhattan, police said.
At about 7:25 p.m., the victim once again approached a woman, this time near East Houston and Mott streets; the two did not exchange any words. The man elbowed the 25-year-old Asian woman in the mouth, causing her to suffer bleeding and swelling to her lower lip. She was treated by EMS on the scene, police said.
There was an hour between that incident and the suspect’s final attack. At about 8:37 p.m., near Broadway and East 8th Street, the man approached a 20-year-old Asian woman and pushed her to the ground, police said. He did not interact with her at all before the assault.
The victim suffered minor injuries to her hands, but did not require medical attention, police said.
The attacks happened as the Asian-American community in New York City continues to express fear and frustration over recent unprovoked assaults.
Residents and community members on Tuesday held a moment of silence in Chinatown for a woman who died this week after she was bludgeoned outside her Queens home in November. She was the fourth victim to die in an unprovoked attack in two months.
From Jan. 1 through Feb. 23, which doesn’t include Sunday’s attacks, police said there were at least seven anti-Asian hate crime attacks in the city compared to three in the same time period last year. In early December 2021, the NYPD commissioner reported 361% spike in reported anti-Asian hate crimes so far that year compared to the same time period in 2020.
Mayor Eric Adams recently said he would shake up the NYPD Hate Crimes Force and bring in a fresh set of eyes.
“I wanted a new face, a new vision, something I believe we were always a little too slow in saying investigate as a possible hate crime,” the mayor added.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).