The incident — which comes at a time when New York City and the nation has seen an increase in reports of attacks against Asian people — was captured on surveillance video and released by the NYPD, who also released photos of an unidentified male and video of the incident.
In a press release, police say they are “asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the following individual wanted in connection to a hate crime assault incident.”
The NYPD press release does not refer to the man as a suspect.
Police say an individual “proceeded to kick the victim multiple times in the head before fleeing the location,” which can be seen on the surveillance footage. The NYPD tells CNN the attacker allegedly yelled an expletive followed by “you don’t belong here!” The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force in investigating.
The victim, according to police, sustained a serious physical injury and was taken by paramedics to NYU Langone Hospital in stable condition.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea speaking on CNN affiliate NY1 Tuesday called this most recent attack “very disturbing.”
“It’s really disgusting when you see the video,” he said. We’re calling on all New Yorkers, anyone with information, we put out a pretty good picture of the, the individual that we want to talk to that was seen walking away, and you just try to make sense of it…and you can’t,” he said.
Police say the incident happened in front of 360 West 43rd Street, which is the address of an apartment complex owned by the Brodsky Organization.
The video which appears to be from the vantage point of a camera inside the apartment complex, appears to show on-lookers not reacting to the attack. Brodsky Organization has issued a statement saying in part that “the staff who witnessed the attack have been suspended pending an investigation in conjunction with their union.”
The Brodsky Organization also says it is “also working to identify a third-party delivery vendor present during the incident so that appropriate action can be taken.”
The Organization “condemns all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and violence against the Asian American community,” they said in their statement.
“I don’t know who attacks a 65 year-old woman and leaves her on the street like that,” Commissioner Shea said Tuesday.
The NYPD recently announced an initiative to put Asian officers undercover to help combat the recent spate of hate crimes against Asians. Shea said they began deploying Friday night.
“We’re putting heavy, heavy uniform presence as well,” amid predominantly Asian communities in the city and through the transit system as well.
CNN has asked NYPD if the surveillance footage was from inside the apartment complex and provided by the organization and has not yet received an answer.
Mayor calls attack disgusting and outrageous
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the brazen attack against the 65-year-old woman “disgusting” and “outrageous” and called on anyone with information about the incident to reach out to the police.
“We continue to see these horrible disgusting attacks on Asian American New Yorkers and it’s got to end and we’re going to use every tool we have,” he said during his daily briefing Tuesday.
De Blasio said that while the city is “not where we need to be” in terms of combating hate toward Asians he is confident “a lot of the right tools are there.”
He was pressed on whether the city is doing enough.
“I’m very frustrated by these attacks, it’s horrible, it’s disgusting to see,” he said adding “it’s so unfair to Asian New Yorkers.”
New York “has seen this before” in terms of hatred toward other groups, including Muslims and LGBTQIA community, De Blasio said.
“We know some of the things that work,” he said including solidarity, getting supporters involved, and assisting the NYPD.
He said Asian American New Yorkers who are feeling isolated and fearful “need to know that they have solidarity of all New Yorkers, and support.”
De Blasio asked anyone with information about the attack to call the NYC Crime Stoppers hot line.