CORONA Queens — Authorities launched a search for a man who allegedly made anti-Asian slurs toward a woman and damaged her phone when she tried to record the incident in Queens Tuesday.
It happened at the southbound No. 7 train at the Willets Point subway station around 11:30 a.m.
A 35-year-old woman was sitting onboard the train when a man sitting in front of her started to make anti-Asian statements toward her, police said.
The victim then received a phone call and began to speak in her native language and proceeded to record the encounter on her phone, according to police.
The suspect made additional anti-Asian statements, approached her and slapped the phone out of her hand, causing damage to the screen, authorities said.
The man then picked up the phone and smashed it to the ground, cops said.
The victim, who feared for her safety, picked up her phone and fled to another train car. The suspect departed the train at the next station.
No injuries were reported.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force has launched an investigation into the incident.
The incident comes amid a rise in attacks on the Asian community across the country.
The NYPD started an Asian Hate Crime Task Force in 2020 amid increasing attacks as the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told PIX11 he believed anti-Asian crimes are higher than reported because not everyone has come forward to report incidents.
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).