Asian American woman leaving rally with daughter had sign stolen, punched in face in Manhattan

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, March 22, 2021
Asian American woman leaving rally with daughter punched in face
Diana Rocco has more on an Asian American woman who was punched iin the face as she was leaving a rally at Union Square.

MANHATTAN -- An Asian American mother on her way to a rally against anti-Asian violence in Manhattan is speaking out after she became a victim herself.

It happened late Sunday morning in Manhattan.

The 37-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, was leaving an Asian American rally in Union Square with her 7-year-old daughter at the time of the attack.

The mother didn't want to give her name but says she is still shaken up.

PHOTOS | Powerful photos from 'Stop Asian Hate' rallies around the country

1 of 37
People hold a moment of silence to support Stop Asian Hate at the Logan Square Monument in Chicago, Saturday, March 20, 2021.

She sprained her ankle, is on crutches, and still has bruises and lacerations on her face.

She says the man approached her and asked for her sign. She thought he was heading to the rally so she gave it to him and that's when she saw him tearing it up and stuffing it a trash can.

When she asked him to stop, he hit her twice in the face, so she chased him.

"He was destroying the sign and trying to put it in the trash can, so I walked forward and towards him saying, 'What are you doing?' And he just came in front of me and punched me in the face, and then I think I stopped for a little bit, and then I chased him. And there were some people around as well, and I just wanted to get him and call the police," the victim said.

"Just the last few days there were two women attacked, an elderly man attacked simply because of who they are," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "This is just something that sickens me and it angers me and we will deal with it aggressively."

Several good Samaritans did rush to the woman and child's aid and managed to get cell phone video of the attacker. They said the suspect appeared to be emotionally disturbed.

VIDEO| Stop Asian Hate rally draws huge crowd in SF

A huge crowd gathered outside San Francisco's Hall of Justice to call for an end of violence against the Asian community.

Police say it was the 22nd assault on a member of the Asian community this year. Over the weekend, a 66-year-old man was punched in Chinatown and a 54-year-old woman was struck in the face with a metal pipe by a man yelling slurs who was later apprehended.

The man reportedly yelled, "I came here to (expletive) up Asians" around 4:45 p.m. Sunday. Elias Guerrero, 38, was apprehended on scene and is charted with assault as a hate crime, resisting arrest, harassment, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of controlled substance.

The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the latest incident.

The attacker is described as being approximately 6'1" tall, 200 pounds, slim build, black hair, last seen wearing a red Chicago Bulls hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, a black baseball hat, a black face mask, black sneakers and carrying a green backpack.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of this individual is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).