A stranger was attacked with a hammer head in New York City by a stranger who demanded the removal of the victim’s mask, police said Monday.
The New York Police Department’s hate crime task force is investigating the attack. He was not arrested on Tuesday morning.
The attack took place on Sunday night at around 8:40 a.m. in the 410 block of West 42nd Street in the kitchen of Hell in Manhattan, police said.
Police released a surveillance video that showed the moment a woman appeared in attacking two Asian women on the sidewalk from behind. The woman demanded that their masks be removed before hitting their heads with a hammer, police said.
The victim was identified as a 31-year-old woman who, according to authorities, was taken to hospital to have her head ripped. The other 29-year-old Asian woman does not appear to have suffered a physical injury.
The 31-year-old told NBC New York she was “shocked,” adding that she had lived in New York for two years.
“I’ve never met anything like this before,” she said. “It’s never happened before in my life.”
After the attack, the hammer woman ran, police said. Authorities are still looking for him.
Hours before the attack, hundreds of New Yorkers, including city officials, gathered for a demonstration in Flushing, Queens, condemning a wave of hate crimes against Asian-American communities.
“If you hate it, get the hell out of here because you don’t deserve to live in New York,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at Sunday’s protest.
Download the NBC News app for the latest news
The “Stop Asian Hate” march was held a day after two other Asian Americans were attacked separately in Queens and Brooklyn, police said.
On Saturday afternoon, a group of five teenagers hit a 15-year-old Asian boy while authorities said he scattered anti-Asian remarks at him in Rego Park, Queens. The boy was taken to hospital for minor injuries.
Three of the suspects have been detained and charged with harassment and harassment for the offense, police said. Investigators are still looking for two other suspects.
Shortly after the Queens attack, an alien pushed a 52-year-old Asian woman toward the subway in Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant, at Myrtle Avenue-Broadway station, police said. There were no injuries or arrests.
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating both cases.
The hammer attack happened just a block away, from which a man repeatedly kicked a 65-year-old Asian woman next to a luxury apartment while witnesses watched him in late March.
Authorities arrested the suspect, who was already on parole in his lifetime for stabbing his mother to death in 2002. He was fired by two tenants of an apartment building who were videotaped to see the attack unfold.
A new analysis of data on hate crimes last week revealed that the rise in anti-Asian attacks has remained consistent.
An analysis from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the California State University Center in San Bernardino found that hate crimes in 169 major cities increased 169 percent from the first quarter of 209 to the same period in 2020.
New York City caused the largest increase from 42 of the 13 hate crimes committed in the first quarter of 2020 to the same period this year – a 223 percent jump, according to research.