Governor Cuomo is directing the New York State Police’s Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the NYPD in investigating a coronavirus-related assault against a Asian woman in Manhattan.
Sources say that the 23-year-old victim was attacked because she was Asian and not wearing a face mask.
“I am disgusted to hear that a woman of Asian descent was physically assaulted in Manhattan on Tuesday – an attack apparently motivated by the bigoted notion that an Asian person is more likely to carry or transmit the novel coronavirus,” said Cuomo. “To be clear: there is zero evidence that people of Asian descent bear any additional responsibility for the transmission of the coronavirus. This incident was not only despicable but also illegal, and I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation to make sure the assailant is held accountable.”
According to police, at around 10:22 a.m. on March 10, the victim was walking in the vicinity of 34th Street and 5th Avenue when another woman wearing a pink headband said, “Where is your corona mask, you Asian b—h,” and punched the victim in the face.
The suspect then fled the scene in an unknown direction. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment for a possible broken jaw.
Police confirmed that the suspect and victim knew each other previously — they are students at the same school and have had previous altercations. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime by the NYPD.
“No one in this state should ever feel intimidated or threatened because of who they are or how they look,” said Cuomo. “Diversity is our greatest strength – it’s one of the things that makes New York great – and in difficult times we need to band together even tighter.”