Gothamist reports today that the NYPD are seeking the public’s help in identifying two suspects in an alleged anti-Asian hate crime that occurred last month on the New York City subway.
According to police, a 29 year old Asian American woman was riding the 1 subway with her parents when she reported that two women boarded the car she was in at the 86th street station. The women, who were reportedly wearing multicoloured leis, approached the victim and began beating her while shouting anti-Asian slurs.
The suspect in a triple homicide that claimed the lives of three people of colour was found mentally incompetent to stand trial today, and was transferred to a mental health facility pending treatment.
On the evening of Saturday, March 5th, 39-year-old Dan Popp was by his apartment when he called out to 40-year-old Jesus R. Manso-Perez — a neighbour who was going to their building’s common laundry room with his son — to offer him a beer. Manso-Perez refused the offer, at which point Popp asked him where he was from. When Manso-Perez responded that he was from Puerto Rico, Popp allegedly said, “Oh, that’s why you don’t speak English. You’re Puerto Rican.”
Minutes later, as Manso-Perez and his son walked back from the laundry room, Popp again confronted the father and son, this time with a rifle in hand. According to Manso-Perez’s son, who survived the attack, Popp shot them at point-blank range saying, “You guys got to go.”
After shooting Manso-Perez and his son, Popp allegedly then kicked down the door of 36-year-old Phia Vue and his 32-year-old wife, Mai K. Vue where he found the couple along with their four children and a babysitter. Popp allegedly shot and killed Phia in the family’s home, and then dragged Mai Vue upstairs where he shot and killed her. The babysitter and the four children were able to escape during the chaos.
As far as I’m concerned, this is what a hate crime looks like — one that I find unspeakably tragic and enraging.
The New York Times reports that a 43-year-old South Asian man was assaulted by two men yesterday while he was walking with his niece in Parkchester in the early evening.
Two unknown assailants approached the victim and began punching him while yelling “ISIS! ISIS!”; when the victim fell to the ground, they proceeded to kick him as well, leaving him with multiple bruises to the head and face. The victim’s niece was apparently unharmed.
By now, readers of this blog are familiar with America’s rising epidemic of Islamophobic hate crimes, which target both Muslim Americans and those whom racists suspect of being Muslim. Because Sikh American men — typically of Indian descent — often wear visible articles of their faith including a turban and beard, they are part of this latter group vulnerable to Islamophobic violence.