South Korean Diplomat Randomly Attacked In Manhattan

(Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Bryan Babb Contributor
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A South Korean diplomat was randomly attacked Wednesday in Manhattan, with the attacker breaking his nose before fleeing.

The South Korean diplomat was walking down 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan around 8:00 p.m. when an unidentified attacker punched him in the face and broke his nose, NBC New York reported. When the diplomat showed his assailant his identification, the attacker fled on foot towards 6th Avenue, according to the outlet. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

“Upon arrival, officers observed a 52-year-old male, with pain and swelling to his face. Further investigation revealed an unknown adult male approached the victim, punched him in the face, and fled on foot towards 6 Avenue,” police said, according to the Hill. “The incident was unprovoked. EMS responded to the location and transported the victim to NYU Hospital, in stable condition with complaint of pain.” (RELATED: Woman Arrested After Yelling Anti-Asian Slur To Undercover NYPD Officer)

South Korea’s foreign ministry confirmed the victim of the attack was a United Nations diplomat, Reuters’s Josh Smith said in a tweet. The South Korean government condemned the attack in a statement, saying they were “outraged” by the “deplorable violence,” and that the Consulate General would be working with the New York Police Department to solve the case, according to the Hill.

“The unprovoked attack is horrific and absolutely unacceptable,” City Councilman Keith Powers, who represents the district where the attack occurred, said in a tweet. “In light of this horrific violence, we must not only condemn hate and discrimination, but prioritize public safety. It is paramount that New Yorkers are safe on our city’s streets.”

The attack against the diplomat occurs amidst a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S., with the total number of reported incidents jumping 77% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to FBI crime statistics.