An Asian woman in New York was attacked with a hammer in the head by a stranger who asked the victim to take off his mask, police said on Monday.
A task force of the New York Police Department is investigating the attack. As of Tuesday morning, no one has been detained.
The attack happened around 8:40 p.m. ET on Sunday in block 410 on West 42nd Street, which is in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, police said.
Police released a surveillance video showing the moment a woman appeared to be addressing two Asian women walking on the sidewalk in the back. The woman asked to remove her masks before hitting one of them in the head with a hammer, police said.
The victim was identified as a 31
The 31-year-old told NBC New York that she was “shocked”, adding that she had been living in New York for two years.
“I have never encountered such things,” she said. “This has never happened in my life.”
The woman fled with a hammer after the attack, police said. Authorities are still searching for her.
Hours before the attack, hundreds of New Yorkers, including city officials, gathered for a rally in Flushing, Queens, exposing the wave of hate crimes against Asian-American communities.
“If you hate it, get out of here because you don’t deserve to live in New York,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at Sunday’s rally.
The Stop Asian Hate march came a day after two other Asian Americans were targeted in separate attacks in Queens and Brooklyn, according to police, NBC New York reported. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating both incidents.
The hammer attack happened just a block from where a man repeatedly kicked a 65-year-old Asian woman in front of a luxury apartment building while eyewitnesses watched her in late March.
Authorities arrested the suspect, who was already in life in prison for fatally stabbing his mother in 2002. The two apartment porters, who were caught on video to watch the attack unfold, were fired, the building’s owner said.
Last week, a new analysis of hate crime data revealed that the rise in anti-Asian attacks remained steady.
The analysis, published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crime increased by 169 percent from the first quarter of 2021 to the same period in 2020 in 15 major cities.
New York reported the largest jump from 13 hate crimes in the first quarter of 2020 to 42 in the same period this year – 223 percent jump, according to the study.