In a Sickening Hate Crime, a 67-year-old Asian Woman Was Punched 125 Times
Anti-Asian racism needs to stop. We need to keep talking about it until it does.
A New York Man punched a 67-year old woman of Asian descent more than 125 times, and used a racial slur against her, according to the Yonkers Police Department. In a surveillance video released by law enforcement, you can see the victim returning to her apartment carrying grocery bags. The attacker, identified as 42-year-old Tammel Esco, began yelling racist abuse at her. She ignored him, then he approached her from behind and began striking her on the head, knocking her to the ground. He stomped her with his feet seven times, and spat on her.
It is a sickening and brutal attack, for which Esco is now being charged with a hate crime and attempted murder. He is in custody at Westchester County, N.Y. jail, and will appear in court on Friday.
“This is one of the most appalling attacks I have ever seen; to beat a helpless woman is despicable and targeting her because of her race makes it more so,” said a statement by Yonkers Police Commissioner John J. Mueller. “Violent behavior will not be tolerated in our communities,” he added.
Anti-Asian racism: the silent epidemic
This despicable incident comes as a reminder that we need to continue to talk about anti-Asian racism. It has long been kept under silence in our societies, pushed under the carpet and openly denied when Asian Americans made claims of violence.
Violent attacks and harassment towards Asian Americans reached an all-time during coronavirus. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University showed a 150 percent increase in 2020 of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.
Many of those crimes targeted elderly people and women. In January of this year, 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee from Thailand was attacked in his neighborhood in San Francisco. A 19-year-old slammed into him, knocking him down. He died two days later from his injuries. Such incidents led to a rally being held in New York against “Anti-Asian Hate”, with thousands taking to the streets to denounce the violence.