A screenshot of street camera footage showing the attack on an Asian woman in New York City. (Twitter)
Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.An Asian woman walking in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood was punched in the face so hard that she collapsed to the ground in an attack that was caught on video. The 55-year-old woman, who has not been named by authorities, was walking at around 6:15 p.m. Monday evening when a man walked up to her and attacked her without provocation. Alexander Wright, 48, has been arrested in connection with the attack, and charged with assault as a hate crime, assault, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to the NYPD.
In street camera footage of the incident, the punch to the woman’s face is so hard that the camera picked up audio of the hit. The woman immediately grabs her face and stumbles backwards, then collapses onto a nearby pillar. Bystanders rushed over to help her. She is now in stable condition at a nearby hospital, according to the NYPD.
Surveillance footage of the incident was shared on Twitter by New York Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou. “When people hurt us, that causes permanent trauma,” Niou told CBS station WLNY in an interview. “Our communities are just as worthy to be able to live and work and be.”Monday’s attack comes on the heels of several other attacks on Asian Americans, and a rise in hate crimes against the community. On May 21, three arrests were made in San Francisco alone for recent attacks against Asian Americans, according to a local CBS station. In the first incident, a 68-year-old Asian man was robbed at gunpoint while waiting for a bus in Japantown on May 14. On May 21, an 83-year-old Asian woman was assaulted during an attempted robbery only about one mile away. And about three hours later on the same day, a 65-year-old Asian woman was robbed. In light of the rise in anti-Asian attacks, President Biden announced a new White House initiative Friday to bolster the federal responses to anti-Asian hate crimes and improve access to social resources for those in the AAPI community. The initiative will be led by Krystal Ka'ai, a longtime executive director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.