Surveillance footage captured a man hitting an Asian woman in the face and walking away during an incident Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia’s Center City.
The video showed the man approach two women before striking the victim, who Philadelphia police identified as a 27-year-old Asian woman. Authorities said an ambulance took the victim to Jefferson University Hospital and she was in stable condition, WPVI-6 ABC reported.
— Katie Katro (@KatieKatro6abc) April 5, 2021
Surveillance footage also showed police apprehend the suspect a block away from the incident. Law enforcement officials said the man is homeless but provided no other identifying information, adding that the incident appeared to be a random attack and nothing regarding race was said to the victim, WPVI-6 reported.
The man whose surveillance caught the incident told WPVI-6 ABC that he heard the woman crying outside his office.
“I heard this eerie scream,” he said. “I could hear it was a constant kind of like a cry, so I looked up at my camera,” he added. “On Easter Sunday, nobody expects to have your head almost taken off by a smack.”
Law enforcement data reported earlier this year indicated violent crimes targeting Asian Americans have become more common since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (RELATED: The Media Desperately Wants To Blame Attacks Against Asian Americans On White Supremacy. But Where’s The Evidence?)
While local law enforcement across the country responded to similar attacks against Asian Americans in recent weeks, President Joe Biden announced a number of federal actions last week to combat the rise in “anti-Asian violence, xenophobia and bias.”
“If you’re speaking of the Asian community, the elders are very concerned. They’re very concerned walking down the street,” said Buu Ly, owner of a sports bar in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. “When you see a grown person hitting a woman, it’s just disturbing. It’s very disturbing.”
Philadelphia City Councilmember Mark Squilla said he has heard growing concerns about rising violence and a lack of safety in the area, WPVI-6 reported.
“Get our streets back, so people feel safe again. Because right now, they do not feel safe because they think the lawlessness is running rampant throughout the city,” he said.