Asian Man in Critical Condition After Being Head Stomped in NYC
April 24, 2021
EAST HARLEM, New York—Yao Pan Ma, 61, was collecting cans Friday to help his family make ends meet along Third Avenue and East 125th Street around 8:30 p.m. when an African-American male assailant struck him from behind, causing him to fall to the ground, and then proceeded to repeatedly head stomp Ma.
The vicious attack was caught on surveillance camera. The NYPD stated EMS responded a short time later and rushed Ma to the local hospital.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is now investigating the attack. However, the department did not specify if Ma was targeted because of his race, according to NBC4 New York.
Ma’s wife of 31 years, Baozhen Chen, 57, told the New York Post in Mandarin through a translator (sobbing throughout the interview), “Please capture him as soon as possible and make him pay.”
Baozhen is a home attendant who takes care of elderly patients. She was not supposed to return home because of work until after the weekend. However, plans changed when she got the terrible news from the police.
“I was scared. I was crying,” Chen said. “I didn’t know what to do. Why? Why did they do this to my husband? Why did this happen? It was sudden. I didn’t expect this,” she stated to the New York Post from the doorway of her modest East Harlem apartment.
The couple have two grown children, both are married and resides in China. Ma used to work in a restaurant as a helper—washing dishes and helping the cook, but he lost his job because of the pandemic.
According to Ma’s wife, that’s why he was collecting bottles and cans on Friday night—to do whatever he could to help the couple’s finances.
“My husband is a hard-working man,” Chen said. “He picks up bottles to help pay the rent and the bills. He is innocent. He did not do anything wrong. He is a very kind person. He is quiet. He doesn’t cause trouble to make people mad.”