A 65-year-old Asian American woman was knocked to the ground Monday and repeatedly kicked outside a luxury New York City apartment building as staff members appeared to watch without coming to her aid, according to surveillance video of the incident.
The New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assault, and the staff members who witnessed it have been suspended, officials said.
The attack unfolded about 11:40 a.m. Monday in the 300 block of West 43rd Street, which is in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, police said.
Police released video that captured a man kicking the victim in her stomach, causing her to fall to the ground. The man then stomped the woman's head multiple times while making anti-Asian statements, police said.
Video appeared to show that as the assault continued, at least three people in the lobby of the apartment stood by and watched. One of them closed the door as the assailant walked away and left the woman on the ground, the video showed.
"The victim sustained a serious physical injury and was removed by EMS to NYU Langone Hospital," police said in a statement. She was discharged Tuesday.
Police released photos of the man, who remains at large. Police hope someone can help them identify him.
Early Tuesday, The Brodsky Organization, the company that manages the luxury apartments, said in a statement posted on Instagram that it “condemns all forms of violence, racism, xenophobia, and violence against the Asian American community.”
The company added that “the staff who witnessed the attack have been suspended pending an investigation in conjunction with their union,” and that it was working to identify a "third-party vendor present during the incident so that appropriate action can be taken."
Officials decried the vicious attack and condemned the building staff members who did not try to stop it.
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said on Twitter the attack was "absolutely vile."
"These attacks against Asian-American New Yorkers must end," he tweeted. “Hate has no place here and we must always call it out when we see it.”
Scott Stringer, New York City's comptroller and mayoral candidate, called the attack "absolutely disgusting."
"Asian Americans belong in New York and are an integral part of our city,” Stringer tweeted. “We have to continue to speak out, we have to continue to protect our AAPI neighbors, and we have to act immediately to #StopAsianHate."
Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., who has spearheaded legislation to combat hate crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the video embodied the lack of empathy toward Asian Americans.
“We’ve gone from being invisible to being seen as sub-human,” Meng tweeted. “We just want to be seen as American like everyone else.”
Earlier this month, an analysis of police department statistics revealed that the United States experienced a significant hike in anti-Asian hate crimes last year across 16 major cities.
The analysis, released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that while hate crimes in 2020 decreased overall by 7 percent, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.
New York accounted for the largest surge from three in 2019 to 28 in 2020, a 833 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes.