Alexander Wright NYC homeless man charged with hate crime following sucker punch attack on Asian woman walking along Manhattan’s Chinatown as Asian hate crime and felony assaults increase dramatically year over year.
And it continues. A homeless man arrested eight times in the last year for assaults and setting fires has been charged with sucker-punching an Asian woman in the face as she walked down a Manhattan street in the latest string of Asian hate crimes besieging the United States.
Alexander Wright, 48, was arrested shortly after the unprovoked attack which was captured on surveillance camera (see below). Footage showed the attack taking place in broad daylight on Monday afternoon.
Wright was taken into custody and charged with assault, assault as a hate crime and possession of controlled substance.
The victim, aged 55, was rushed to hospital for treatment where she remains in stable condition according to CBS New York. The woman’s identity was not revealed.
It was revealed Wright having been previously arrested a total of 40 times. According to the NYPD, officers found the drug K2 on him when he was arrested.
This was just sent to me from my constituent. This just happened in my district in Chinatown. He has been arrested and our precinct is investigating. pic.twitter.com/sxNfCbrlza
— Yuh-Line Niou (@yuhline) May 31, 2021
Combatting hate crime
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea responding to the attack, condemned local laws that set Wright free even after numerous other serious allegations were made against him in the past.
‘[Wright] lives in a shelter, arrested eight times in the last year, randomly assaulting people, setting fires. 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?’ Shea told CBSNY.
Police say the Asian woman was walking along bustling Bayard Street in Chinatown minding her own business, before she was sucker-punched by Wright as he came along in the opposite direction.
Footage showed the victim falling to the sidewalk due to the force of the punch.
Several pedestrians were seen rushing to help to her as she lay motionless on the pavement afterwards.
Bystander Jin Zhen posted to Instagram, saying he ran to a nearby police precinct to alert officers who were able to track Wright down several blocks away.
Community activist Karlin Chan was one of the many who ran to the woman’s aid. He says it’s clear the city isn’t doing nearly enough as the number of hate crimes against Asians continue to soar.
Crime statistics dramatic rise in felony assaults & violent crime
‘You cannot hide the problem by putting them into a hotel or a homeless shelter. This man was another homeless man,’ Chan told CBSNY.
Police say Wright will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The attack against the un-named 55 year old Asian woman comes as felony assaults – such as the one Wright now stands accused of – rocketed by more than a third over the last week to 483. That was a 35.3 per cent increase on the 357 recorded during the same week in 2020.
Such incidents are up by more than a quarter – 27.7 per cent – this month, with 1,771 recorded in 2021, compared to 1,387 reported over the same 28 days in 2020 according to the New York Police Department’s CompStat website.
The tally showed murders were up 28.6 per cent last week over the same week in 2020, with nine homicides in 2021, and seven in 2020.
Murders have risen by 70.8 per cent this month compared to the same four weeks in 2020, with 41 recorded so far in 2021, compared to 24 in 2020.
‘New Yorkers don’t feel safe…’
Serious crime overall was up 49 per cent over the last week, with a total of 234 reported – 77 more than the 157 flagged to cops for the same seven days in 2020.
Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New Yorkers don’t feel safe in their own city.
‘We have a major crime problem in New York City. Everything we just talked about, with the economy coming back, you know what the first step is? People have to feel safe.
‘We’re building new projects, stimulating new business – what comes before that is public safety, otherwise none of it works.
‘New Yorkers don’t feel safe and they don’t feel safe because the crime rate is up. It’s not that they are being neurotic or overly sensitive – they are right.
‘Subways are cleaner than they’ve been, operating better – but they’re not as safe and people are afraid to take the train,’ he said according to the dailymail.
He said that defunding the police – which Bill de Blasio agreed to last summer by taking $1bn from the NYPD budget amid pressure from BLM activists – was not the answer.
Meanwhile, hate crime attacks against Asians and Asian-Americans are also surging in New York.
At least 86 anti-Asian hate crimes being reported to authorities this year, according to the NYPD. There were only 19 such reports over the same period of 2020.
Surge of Asian hate crimes in the US
A report from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that anti‐Asian hate crimes surged 149 per cent across the US while overall hate crime dropped 7 per cent in 2020.
The report indicated that the rise in anti-Asian crimes was attributed to ‘a rise in COVID cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic.’
Former President Donald Trump was blamed for stoking anti-Asian sentiment by repeatedly branding COVID-19 ‘the China virus,’ and even ‘kung flu.’
In light of all the recent citywide anti-Asian as well as anti-Semitic attacks, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced increased funding for anti-hate initiatives.
De Blasio announced the creation of a new initiative called Partners Against The Hate, or P.A.T.H. Forward last Thursday, while committing $3 million in funding for Asian American and Jewish community groups, CBS reports.