A homeless man faces attempted murder and hate crimes charges Tuesday nearly a week after he allegedly brutalized a 61-year-old man at an East Harlem intersection.
Jarrod Powell, 49, last resided at a homeless shelter on Wards Island, according to police. Sources familiar with the investigation said that peace officers working with the Department of Homeless Services recognized Powell’s picture from published reports about the attack, apprehended him and brought him to the 25th Precinct for further questioning.
During the interrogation, police sources said, Powell allegedly fessed up to kicking and stomping on the 61-year-old male victim at the corner of 3rd Avenue and East 125th Street at about 8:20 p.m. on April 23.
The victim suffered “significant injury” and is in serious but stable condition at Harlem Hospital, authorities said.
Police said Powell allegedly approached the 61-year-old man from behind and struck him in the back, knocking him to the sidewalk. Once fallen, police reported, the attacker continued kicking and stomping on the man — with part of the violent attack caught on tape by a nearby security camera.
Following the beating, the suspect fled in an unknown direction.
Not long after learning of the incident, police referred the case to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force. Police sources said this is due to recent, ongoing attacks on members of the Asian community.
For weeks, the NYPD has been battling a surge of hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers. Thirty-one cases were reported in March 2021; there had been no reported bias crimes against Asian New Yorkers reported in March 2020.
During questioning Tuesday, sources familiar with the investigation said, Powell allegedly claimed he attacked the man believing that he was part of a group of people who had robbed him previously.
Police indicated that Powell has a “significant number of arrests” since 2006.
After making a statement to detectives, law enforcement sources said, Powell was officially charged with attempted murder and assault as a hate crime. The investigation remains ongoing.