An Asian woman in New York City was attacked in the head with a hammer by a stranger who demanded the victim remove her mask, police said Monday.
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assault. No arrests have been made since Tuesday morning.
The attack took place around 8:40 p.m. ET Sunday in the 410 block on West 42nd Street, which is in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, police said.
Police released surveillance video showing the moment a woman appeared to accuse two Asian women walking on the sidewalk from behind. The woman demanded that they remove their masks before hitting one of them in the head with a hammer, police said.
The victim, according to authorities, was identified as a 31
The 31-year-old woman told NBC New York that she was “shocked” and added that she has lived in New York City for two years.
“I have never faced this kind of thing,” she said. “This has never happened in my life.”
After the attack, the woman ran with the hammer, police said. Authorities are still looking for her.
Hours before the attack, hundreds of New Yorkers, including city officials, gathered at a demonstration rally in Flushing, Queens, condemning the wave of hate crimes against Asian American communities.
“If you hate, get the hell out of here because you do not deserve to live in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at Sunday’s demonstration.
The “Stop Asian Hate” march was held a day after two other Asian Americans were targeted in separate attacks in Queens and Brooklyn, according to police, NBC New York reported. The NYPD Task Force on Hate Crimes is investigating both incidents.
The hammer attack occurred just a block from which a man repeatedly kicked a 65-year-old Asian woman outside a luxury apartment building when witnesses appeared to be seen in late March.
Authorities arrested the suspect, who was already on life-threatening charges of fatal stabbing of his mother in 2002. The two apartment building doormen who were caught on video watching the attack unfold were fired, the building’s owner said.
Last week, a new analysis of data on hate crime revealed that the rise in anti-Asian attacks has been constant.
The analysis, released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, showed that hate crimes increased 169 percent from the first quarter of 2021 to the same time period in 2020 in 15 major cities.
New York City accounted for the largest increase from 13 hate crimes in the first quarter of 2020 to 42 in the same period this year – a jump of 223 percent according to research.