NEW YORK CITY (NewsNation Now) — New York City police are investigating two new apparent hate crimes as bias incidents are on the rise nationwide.
The latest incident involved a Hasidic Jewish couple and their one-month-old baby who were attacked by a knife-wielding man who is now in custody. The family’s injuries were minor enough to be treated at the scene.
The suspect is a parolee released from prison a month ago. It appears to be just the latest in a rash of violent bias crimes happening around the country – most of them have been targeting Asian Americans.
Monday morning in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, a 65-year-old woman on her way to church was punched and kicked by a man yelling anti-Asian slurs, including ‘you don’t belong here.’
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance commented on the incident saying, “this brave woman belongs here; Asian Americans belong here. Everyone belongs here.”
The attack is a part of a wave of crimes against Asian Americans since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic a year ago.
Many believe fueled by dangerous rhetoric from people, including former President Donald Trump’s use of racially-charged terms like ‘China virus.’
“We will never accept or tolerate hate or violence of any kind in our great city,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
NewsNation affiliate WPIX went on patrol Thursday, with the new head of the NYPD’s Asian Hate Crime Task Force.
When speaking about one interaction with a resident, NYPD Asian Hate Crime Task Force Head Tommy Ng said, “He said he’s been in this country for 30 years; he’s never seen something like this. That as an Asian American he’s afraid to go out.”
The suspect in Monday’s attack, arrested after police staked out a nearby hotel turned homeless shelter, is
38-year-old Brandon Elliot.
He’s on lifetime parole after serving 17 years in prison for murdering his own mother in 2002.
There are still questions about whether witnesses at the scene did enough to help the victim when
some are seen standing by and watching as the attack unfolds.
“We in every way as a city have to work together to stop these attacks,” said NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio addressing the incident. “They are all unacceptable.”
The suspects in these two attacks, both recent parolees, face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of hate crimes.