A 31-year-old Asian woman was walking to the subway with her friend near Times Square when she was attacked with a hammer Sunday night.
Police are still searching for the female suspect, who they say was about 5’9″ tall and was wearing all black, ABC6 News reported. The victim, identified only as Theresa, said that she tried to defend herself but realized she was bleeding heavily when she touched her head. Theresa said that she was able to grab the hammer from her attacker before collapsing and shattering the bottle of wine she was carrying.
“A drunken woman hit them with a hammer in the head,” one of the witnesses who was dining outdoors when Theresa was attacked told ABC6 News. (RELATED: ‘F*** You, You Don’t Belong Here’: 65-Year-Old Asian Woman Brutally Attacked While On Her Way To Church In New York)
EXCLUSIVE: “Take off your f****ing mask!” Then she was hit with a hammer. 31YO woman’s mother didn’t want her here bc of the anti-Asian attacks. She walked her friend to the subway bc of the attacks. That’s when she became the latest victim. H/T @Syissle @LucyYang7 #stopasianhate pic.twitter.com/wrSEZh8BSo
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) May 3, 2021
Police released a video of the incident, which showed the attacker swinging multiple times at the victim and losing both of her shoes.
The manager of a nearby restaurant said that patrons rushed over to help the victim after the attack, washing the blood off with water.
“Some person came along and hit another person over the head with a hammer,” said Steve Olsen, the owner of a nearby cafe. “And there’s blood all over the place.”
“She’s talking to herself, talking to the wall, I thought maybe she’s like, drunk or something,” Theresa told ABC6 News. “And we just walked past her quickly, and when I passed her, she saw us and she said ‘take off your f*cking mask’ and it was just shocking.”
Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, according to the report. Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a Tuesday press release that he was directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation.
“I am disgusted by this violent attack in Midtown Manhattan, the latest seemingly senseless and despicable hate crime against Asian Americans in this state,” the governor said. “We will do everything in our power to protect those who are vulnerable to these attacks and to hold cowardly perpetrators accountable to the full extent of the law.”
The Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in April. The bill is aimed at addressing a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the coronavirus pandemic.