Police are searching for a man they say randomly attacked seven Asian women during the span of three hours in Midtown and Lower Manhattan on Sunday evening.
The man, who authorities describe as having a light complexion and blonde hair, was last seen wearing a light blue t-shirt, dark pants and a multicolored backpack, according to police. The attacks began at 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening on Madison Avenue and East 30th Street when he’s said to have punched a 57-year-old Asian woman in the face.
From there, police say, the man made his way south towards Chinatown attacking women randomly every ten or fifteen minutes, punching them in the face or arms, elbowing one woman in the face, and shoving another to the ground.
Most of the victims were women aged 19 to 25 and all of them were of Asian descent, which is why police are considering the attacks hate crimes, though they said the man didn’t speak to the women before he attacked.
Hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers quadrupled last year with 131 documented attacks against Asians, up from 28 the year before, according to NYPD data.
At the same time, there have been a string of high profile, random attacks against Asian New Yorkers, not deemed hate crimes. Michelle Go was shoved to her death onto the subway tracks, Christina Yuna Lee was stalked back to her Chinatown apartment and stabbed, and a Jackson Heights grandmother, GuiYing Ma recently died from wounds she suffered last November when a stranger attacked her with a rock, while she was sweeping her stoop.
Anyone with information can call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) and for Spanish speakers, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) or submit tips online at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/.