As NYC Mayor Eric Adams grapples with skyrocketing crime in the Big Apple, a South Korean diplomat, walking down a Manhattan street with a friend, got punched in the face by an assailant who then fled the scene.
According to NYPD, the assault took place at 8:10 p.m. on Wednesday, just a mile from the United Nation’s headquarters, on the edge of Manhattan’s Koreatown.
As of Thursday morning, no motive has been identified and no arrest has been made, the shocking attack again calls attention to anti-Asian hate crimes, which, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, have been sharply increasing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“According to the data, the surge in reported anti-Asian hate crimes is significantly higher than it was in 2020, when they increased by 124 percent compared to the year before,” reported NBC News. “New York City had a particularly drastic rise, from 30 to 133 anti-Asian hate crimes, a 343 percent increase.”
City Councilman Keith Powers, who represents the neighborhood in which this most recent attack took place, issued a statement about the incident, calling it “unacceptable.”
“The unprovoked attack against the South Korean diplomat is horrific and absolutely unacceptable,” said Powers. “Over the past year, we’ve seen a rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community that is abhorrent and cannot continue. It is our duty to condemn these terrible incidents and take [steps] against this continued harassment, violence, and discrimination.”
In March of last year, NYPD arrested another man in Manhattan for brutally assaulting a 65-year-old Asian woman.
The brutal attack, which was caught on video, took place as the woman was walking to church.
The suspect, Brandon Elliot, was arrested and charged with a hate crime.
Thanks to assistance from the public and excellent investigative work by @NYPDHateCrimes Detectives, the individual wanted for Monday’s assault of a 65 year-old Asian female, at 360 West 43rd St, was arrested and charged with Felony Assault as a Hate Crime. pic.twitter.com/ZQRVGZEAb2
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) March 31, 2021
Police have far less to go on in the case of the South Korean diplomat. The assailant is described only as an “unknown, adult male.”
“Upon arrival, officers observed a 52-year male, with pain and swelling to his face. Further investigation revealed an unknown adult male approached the victim, punched him in the face, and fled on foot towards 6 Avenue,” said police in a statement obtained by The Hill.
The victim’s name has not been disclosed, but a statement issued by the foreign ministry in Seoul and reported on in the Korea Times confirms he was on a mission at the U.N.
“A diplomat affiliated to the UN mission was attacked by an unidentified man in downtown Manhattan on the evening of February 9 and was injured,” the statement reads.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will urge the local police to conduct a quick and thorough investigation,” they added.
The victim suffered a broken nose in the attack.
According to the Times, he “received treatment at a hospital and is now resting after being discharged.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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