A suspect caught in a disturbing surveillance video randomly attacking a 55-year-old Asian woman in New York City's Chinatown has been charged with a hate crime and police say he had been arrested eight times in the last year.
Video of the heinous unprovoked attack was sent to a New York state lawmaker who represents the area and she posted it to her Twitter account on Monday.
(CAUTION: Graphic video)
This was just sent to me from my constituent. This just happened in my district in Chinatown. He has been arrested… https://t.co/gryhwNFkhQ— Yuh-Line Niou (@Yuh-Line Niou)1622502485.0
"This was just sent to me from my constituent," tweeted New York Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. "This just happened in my district in Chinatown. He has been arrested and our precinct is investigating."
The video shows the man viciously punching the woman in the face as she walked by him near the Kong Sihk Tong café.
"The woman hit the ground, her butt hit the ground, she fell back, the back of her head hit the outdoor dining structure. And her eyes just shut out, blacked out," said Jin Zhen, who witnessed the attack, to WLNY-TV.
Police arrested 48-year-old Alexander Wright for the crime and charged him with one count of assault as a hate crime. He was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance after police said they found K2, a synthetic marijuana drug, during his arrest.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea expressed outrage that Wright had such an extensive criminal background and yet was allowed to be back on the streets.
"Lives in a shelter, arrested eight times in the last year, randomly assaulting people, setting fires," said Shea. "The guy that was arrested on Friday setting fires. What are we doing in society, we're releasing these people right back onto the street?"
Police said Wright would undergo a psychiatric analysis.
One study said that crimes against Asians had risen 169% from the first quarter of 2021 compared to that of 2020 across 15 major cities.
Here's a local news report about the hate crime charge:
Chinatown attack: Man facing hate crime charges after Asian woman sucker punched www.youtube.com