A man was apprehended and charged with a hate crime Monday following an attack on an Asian woman heading to an Anti-Asian violence protest Sunday, according to police.
The attack happened Sunday just after 11:35 a.m. near Astor Place and Fourth Avenue, police said.
The woman, 37, was approached by a man who asked for the sign she was carrying, police said; he tried to put the sign in a garbage can, but then put it on the ground and began to stomp on it.
When the victim asked him why he did that, he punched her twice in the face with closed fists, police said.
Police said the man, Erick Deoliveira, 27, was arrested and charged with a hate crime.
There have been more than a dozen anti-Asian assaults in the city so far this year, according to local activist Karlin Chan. At least three of the incidents occurred in Manhattan on Sunday, police said.
Against the backdrop of these multiple attacks, New Yorkers are stepping up; the Guardian Angels are launching citizen patrols, including in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and other Asian American communities in the five boroughs.
“These crimes are escalating at a very rapid rate,” said Guardian Angles founder Curtis Sliwa, “and we are trying to get Asian Americans involved as Guardian Angels and other citizen patrol.”
The NYPD is stepping up patrols, too, and the mayor is calling for more action.