A woman who allegedly demanded two Asian women remove their masks and then struck one with a hammer was crime” target=”_blank”>arrested< when the suspect erratically approached them with the hammer.
The suspect then struck the 31-year-old in the head, causing a laceration. She was arrested for assault, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, according to NYPD Hate Crimes.
The New York Post identified the alleged attacker as 37-year-old Ebony Jackson, a homeless woman.
It is unclear if the attack was racially motivated or whether Jackson will face hate crime charges, but it comes amid a surge of anti-Asian violence in New York City and other parts of the country over the last year.
An analysis by California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes against Asians surged 833% in New York City last year, going from three in 2019 to 28 in 2020.
That trend has continued so far this year, with 42 hate crimes reported against Asians in New York City in the first quarter of 2021, a 223% increase over the 13 that were reported in that time frame last year.
In America’s 16 biggest cities, hate crimes against Asian Americans went up 149% in 2020.
The 31-year-old victim in the hammer attack told ABC7 that she is from Taiwan and came to America in 2019 for her master’s degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but will now go back to her home country until she feels like New York is safe again.
“My mom actually told me please be careful, there’s a lot of Asian crime happening in America,” she told the news outlet.