A 51-year-old woman was beaten on a city bus in the Bronx last week by a group of riders who blamed her for the COVID-19 outbreak, according to police and news reports.
The group, which includes three teen girls, attacked the unnamed victim on an MTA bus at Ogden Avenue and West 166th Street around 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 28th, investigators say.
The group made "anti-Asian statements" towards her and hit her in the head with an umbrella while on the Bx13 bus, police said. The NY Post reports the assailants shouted that the woman had "caused the coronavirus," asked why she wasn't wearing a mask, and blamed her for the pandemic. They also called her a "bitch," police sources tell the Post.
Emergency medical personnel took the woman to a hospital where she got stitches on her head.
Three 15-year-old girls were apprehended nearby shortly after the attack. Police arrested them for hate crime assaults, menacing, and harassment.
Now NYPD is searching for the fourth unidentified female, who is accused of hitting the woman in the head with an umbrella.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assault.
There have been a number of racist incidents against Asians in NYC during the COVID-19 outbreak, as fear-mongering about the virus has sparked random xenophobic assaults. Local elected officials in Chinatown have said discrimination had been rising even before NYC's first confirmed case of the virus.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to questions about what the racist remarks were or how old police estimate the fourth female to be.
Anyone with information in regard to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website, or on Twitter.