Police arrest hate crime assault suspect; 19-year-old victim ‘still bleeding’

NEW YORK (PIX11) — The victim of an anti-Asian assault told PIX11 News she’s “still bleeding” after the unprovoked attack Tuesday night. The 19-year-old college student was just one of seven victims who were all approached — and attacked — by the same man.

All of the attacks took place on Sunday in Manhattan, spread across Midtown, Gramercy Park, NoLita and the East Village, police said.

The teen spoke exclusively to PIX11 News’ Nicole Johnson, expressing how “helpless” she felt after the assault. She said it’s left her damaged, both emotionally and physically.

“I think it’s terrible,” she said, “he should be arrested.”

Police did arrest the man who allegedly carried out all seven attacks, 28-year-old Steven Zajonc, Wednesday. He’s facing seven counts each of hate crime assault, hate crime attempted assault, aggravated harassment and harassment, according to officials.

The attacks happened as the Asian-American community in New York City continues to express fear and frustration over recent unprovoked assaults.

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 response to the upticks, Mayor Eric Adams said recently he wants a “new vision” for the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Force.

If you or someone you know are experiencing anti-Asian hate, click here for resources. Anyone who witnesses an incident can also find out more information on bystander intervention by clicking here.