Suspect Identified in NYC’s Serial Assaults Targeting Asian American Women

The unknown assailant who has attacked four Asian American women over the last week.
The assailant who has attacked four Asian American women over the last week.

The suspect in a series of physical assaults targeting Asian American women in New York City was identified late yesterday by police as 25-year-old Tyrelle D. Shaw, after concerned friends and family contacted law enforcement following the appearance of several seemingly incriminating blog posts published on Shaw’s website over the last week.

Police are still investigating whether Shaw or his website are indeed related to the string of bias-related attacks that have occurred in Chinatown, Koreatown and the Upper East Side. However, if Shaw does prove to be the suspect and this blog is related to him, it provides a great deal of insight into the mind of a violent Asiaphile who is preying on New York’s Asian American female population to exact revenge for being “rejected too many times“.

Shaw began his blog in March of 2010 and is apparently a prolific blogger, posting images and news stories intermingled with journal entries multiple times a day. In a series of blog posts, Shaw — who describes himself as an artist who makes custom bow-ties — discusses his preference for dating Asian American women and his frustration that street harassing Asian women has not resulted in any romantic relationships. In a post published today but dated to earlier last week, three days before he began his string of assaults, Shaw writes that he was motivated to begin attacking Asian American women because he blames us for feeling romantically rejected. He writes:

I’ve been rejected by Women my entire life. I never understood why, but whenever I stopped to woo- I always ended up getting the same excuse every single time. Sorry I have a Boyfriend or Sorry I’m in a rush. Some Women even ignored me completely. It got really bad. This weekend I decided to talk to over 150 Asian Women, which ended horribly. I had to punch a White dude in the mouth for kicking me. I followed two asian girls around SoHo just to see why they’re lives are ten times more important than a Black Mans in America. Unfortunately that didn’t end well. By the end of the night I really decided to fight my battle using violence. Humans don’t understand me. I see tons of Asian Women walking around with White Men and I never understood how they even made it on a date, if I’m trying so hard just to get one number. I’ve been rejected so much I feel absolutely numb. Tonight was the night I realized that Humans found racism popular. Now the whole World Hates me because I’m African American.

Around 8PM. I realized that I would have to use violence in order get the response that I desire.

…Every Asian Woman by herself must be hit in the face. I may even take a photo before hitting them. The reason is because I don’t think Asian Women like me and that specific one or two or three may have never met me. So I think its brilliant to give all Asian Women a legitimate reason to hate me.

If you’re getting echoes of Elliot Rodger here, you’re not alone.

Yet again, we see the damaging effects of misogylinity (masculinity, when it is defined predominantly by the possession of women) and its assertion that men are entitled to female bodies. We see what happens when men of colour — whom misogylinity asserts are inferior competitors in this “game” — are expected to compete for female favour against sexual stereotypes that stack the deck against them: his frustration turns to resentment and violence when he does not receive the romantic relationships misogylinity tells him he is owed. Yet again, it is women who become the targets of hate and violent backlash, because our free will conflicts with being trophies that validate another person’s masculinity. By the rules of misogylinity, a woman who refuses to be treated like tokens of masculinity are the ones breaking the rules. By the rules of misogylinity, it is we who are invalidating men just by having sexual agency, and it is we who should be punished, sometimes violently. Do we need any more reason to reject mainstream toxic masculinity and misogylinity in favour of a more progressive, inclusive and feminist masculinity? Do we need any other evidence that Asiaphilia is harmful to Asian American women? This “game” is literally hurting us all.

In the days leading up to the first attack last Wednesday, Shaw posts that he spent all of his time stalking and harassing women. In April, Shaw stalked Asian American women on the street and took surreptitious pictures of them, posting them likely without permission on his blog. On June 9, he documents how he spent the whole day “complimenting” random Asian American women and recording the time — down to the minute — of each interaction. On June 10, Shaw documents spending the evening counting how many mixed race couples including White men and Asian women he sees. That same day, Shaw assaulted his first two victims.

In a post published yesterday, Shaw names his physical assaults of Asian American women the “Nose Game” after he comes to the bizarre conclusion that Asian American women who weren’t responding to his harassment must be snorting cocaine. He confesses in that post that he has assaulted six victims so far, although only four assaults have been reported to police. Another post suggests the blunt weapon he is using to assault his victims is a steel rod.

Alarmingly,  Shaw’s blog also suggests possible mental illness and Shaw has reportedly had previous encounters with police in relation to reports of an emotionally disturbed individual.  Recent posts by Shaw also threaten that he is suicidal and may have scheduled posts to appear after his death. These threats have not been corroborated with evidence that Shaw has died.

Police are still searching for Shaw. Until he is found, my Asian American sisters, please continue to remain vigilant and protect yourselves. This person is still on the loose, and we now have pretty good evidence to suggest that this is a disturbing tale of Asiaphilic sexual harassment turned (even more) racist, sexist, and violent.

Anyone with any information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-TIPS. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

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