NEW YORK (WPIX) — A brutal assault that left a 61-year-old Asian man fighting for his life Friday night is being investigated by New York police as a possible hate crime.
The suspect approached the man from behind in East Harlem around 8:20 p.m., pushed him, and then kicked and stomped on the victim’s head at least six times before fleeing the area, according to the New York Police Department and surveillance video of the attack.
The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to the hospital with significant injuries and was listed in critical but stable condition.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force launched an investigation into the attack. A police spokesperson told NewsNation affiliate WPIX on Saturday it remains unclear whether any anti-Asian statements were made during the attack.
The assault is the latest amid a spike in anti-Asian attacks that has gripped the city and the nation.
The video of the attack below is graphic and may be disturbing to viewers.
There were at least 62 anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police between Jan. 1 and April 18, compared to 12 reported during the same time period in 2020, according to NYPD data.
The NYPD has stepped up patrols in Asian communities across the city. The department also deployed undercover Asian police officers and added two more detectives to its Asian Hate Crimes Task Force.
If you or someone you know is experiencing anti-Asian hate, click here for resources.