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Police arrest suspect in assault of Asian woman in NYC

Police in New York arrested early Wednesday a suspect in a brutal, videotaped assault of a 65 year old Asian-American woman, the latest incident of anti-Asian violence in the United States.

Police announced the arrest on Twitter and said the man was charged with felony assault as a hate crime. The tweet did not give his name but US news outlets identified the man as Brandon Elliot, 38.

The attack, which took place on a sidewalk in broad daylight in Midtown Manhattan on Monday, was caught on CCTV footage from inside an adjacent building.

In the video, posted online by police, the man can be seen walking up to the woman and kicking her in the stomach, knocking her to the ground.

He then kicks her several times in the head before walking away.

The video also shows a man, who appears to be a delivery worker, watching the attack unfold from inside the building.

He is then joined by two other men, one of whom closes the door rather than coming to the woman’s aid as the assailant walks away.

Police had asked the public for help in identifying the attacker.

Residents identified him as a local homeless person and directed police to a hotel serving as a shelter for people without homes, and he was arrested there, New York news outlets reported.

The victim, whose identity has not been released, was hospitalized with multiple injuries, including a broken pelvis.

She was in a stable condition Tuesday, police said.

In a statement, the NYPD said the attacker “made anti-Asian statements” towards the victim as he kicked her. It added that the force’s hate crime task is investigating the assault.

The same unit is still looking for another man who struck a woman in the face in a subway station on Saturday night.

The woman was not seriously injured and declined any medical assistance.

New York and other US cities have seen an upsurge in crimes against people of Asian descent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with activists attributing the rise to ex-president Donald Trump’s repeated references to Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the violence was becoming “an epidemic” across the country that “must stop now.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on anyone who witnesses an attack to “literally shout” to disturb the aggressor and attract attention.

Earlier this month, six women of Asian descent were killed when a shooter attacked three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta.

The NYPD has stepped up its presence in neighborhoods with high Asian immigrant populations while volunteer groups have formed safety patrols.

Several demonstrations expressing solidarity with Asian-American communities have also taken place. They have been attended by New York mayoral candidates and the Reverend Al Sharpton, the influential Black rights activist.

New York has more than one million inhabitants of Asian descent.

In the week of March 15 to 21, police recorded a total of nine hate crimes, up from three in the same period of 2020.

A protest in New York on March 19, 2021 against anti-Asian attacks

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