New York police say a suspect in a “horrific attack” on a 61-year-old Chinese man was arrested early Tuesday morning local time, NBC News reported.
Jarrod Powell, 49, faces two felony assault charges, according to a statement from the New York City Police Department. Police previously revealed that the victim was attacked from behind by a man in the East Harlem area at around 8.30pm on Friday (23) “causing him to fall to the ground.” Surveillance video released by the New York Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force shows the man repeatedly kicking the victim in the head.
Local officials have identified the victim as Yao Panma. New York Rep. Ron Kim has been in touch with the victim’s family. He said Yao Panma was picking up cans in the street to pay the family’s rent when he was attacked. “Yao Panma used to be a Chinese chef,” Kim wrote on Twitter. He worked as a dishwasher here and was later fired. He didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits, so he collected cans to pay $1,000 in rent. As he struggled to survive, he left his wife alone, unable to eat, and kept crying. ”
Mr Kim said Mr Yao was in a coma after the attack and there were reports on Tuesday morning that he remained in a “critical condition”. “Because of the excessive swelling around his brain, the doctor said he could not have surgery,” Kim wrote. ”
The report said that while authorities have not determined whether the victim was targeted because of his race, the incident comes at a time when racial attacks against Asian-Americans are taking place across the United States.
The analysis found that while hate crimes fell by 7% overall last year, hate crimes against Asians in the 16 largest U.S. cities increased by nearly 150 percent by 2020. New York’s number of cases rose from three in 2019 to 28 in 2020, up 833 percent, the largest increase.
The rise in the number of such cases prompted the U.S. Senate to pass a bill Thursday targeting hate crimes against Asians.