Elderly Filipino-American woman attacked in New York City

A 65-year-old Filipino-American woman suffered severe injuries following an unprovoked attack in New York City on Monday, March 29, as Asian Americans continued to be targets of hate crimes in the United States during the pandemic.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) Hate Crimes Task Force said in a tweet that the assault happened at 11:40 am on Monday in midtown Manhattan, and shared an image of the suspect to the public to help track him down.

Police said the suspect "punched and kicked her about the body." The woman, who suffered facial swelling and pain in the left leg, is confined in New York University’s Langone Hospital and said to be in stable condition.

The NYPD told the New York Daily News that the suspect cursed at the woman and said, "You don't belong here."

The attack was captured by a security camera from a 360 West 43rd Street building. In footage released by the NYPD, staff from a luxury apartment owned by the Brodsky Organization were seen just watching the incident, and closing the door instead of helping the woman who was being kicked repeatedly.

The Brodsky Organization released a statement condemning the attack and the staff’s actions.

“The staff who witnessed the attack have been suspended pending an investigation in conjunction with their union. The Brodsky Organization is also working to identify a third-party delivery vendor present during the incident so that appropriate action can be taken," the organization said in a statement released on Facebook.

Since the start of the pandemic, an uptick in anti-Asian American crimes has been evident across the United States. These hate crimes have drawn national attention after a mass shooting in Atlanta killed 8 people, 6 of whom were of Asian descent.

The NYPD has reported 31 hate crimes against Asians this year.

The Philippines earlier sent a note verbale to the United States calling its attention to the rising number of attacks on Asian Americans. The move came after the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs urged US authorities to "ensure the protection" of Asian Americans amid rising attacks against members of the community, including Filipinos, during the pandemic. 

Aside from sending a note verbale, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez said he wrote letters to US lawmakers calling their attention to the issue. 

Medyo matindi na 'yung mga ginagawa dito sa mga Asian Americans dito sa America (The attacks on Asian Americans here in American are getting more serious),” Romualdez said in an interview with Teleradyo on March 1.

A Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate report tallied 3,796 anti-Asian hate incidents from the beginning of the pandemic last year until February 28, 2021. – Rappler.com

Razel Suansing is a Rappler intern. This article was done under the supervision of Rappler staff and her copy was vetted by editors.