Christina Yuna Lee stabbed to death by Assamad Nash serial homeless career criminal out on bail as she made her way into her NYC Chinatown apartment.
A 35-year-old Asian advertising creative has been identified as the woman knifed to death at her Manhattan Chinatown residence. The alleged suspect arrested in her murder was identified as a homeless serial criminal who was free on bail at the time of Sunday morning’s slaying.
Christina Yuna Lee a freelance advertising creative from New Jersey was knifed to death as the woman made her way into her residence, as her soon to be murderer – since identified as Assamad Nash, 25, had unwittingly followed her inside before the building front door firmly closing.
Surveillance footage showed the serial career criminal sneak into the building behind Lee as she got out of a cab.
She entered the building after a night out on the town, but didn’t realize that Nash – who did not appear to know his alleged victim – had crept up behind her after watching her exit a taxi. The man proceeded to stalk her as he followed her up six flights of stairs to her home.
Nash, a homeless career criminal, had been out on bail following several outstanding offences, including an assault case in September and criminal mischief arrest in early January. He had been scheduled to next appear in court on March 3 according to ABC7, Come Monday, Assamad Nash was charged with murder and burglary.
‘This all could have been avoided,’
Nash had been arrested at least seven times since 2015, most recently on January 6, 2022 according to the outlet. Court records showed Nash having been arrested four times in the last year alone.
His rap sheet included misdemeanor charges of assault, intentional damage to property, harassment, resisting arrest, both attempted and successful escape from police officers and selling a fare card.
Three of these cases remain open, with Nash appearing in court on numerous occasions. He was set to appear again before a judge on March 9 on the assault, harassment and intentional damage to property charges.
‘This all could have been avoided,’ Lee’s landlord, Brian Chin, told reporters Sunday night. ‘This guy should never have been out of the street. And it’s DA Alvin Bragg playing politics with people’s lives and the Asian community has been hurt. To have a DA who has won those horrific crimes right on his doorstep. And he doesn’t even bother to show up. It’s disgraceful.’
‘She walked up six flights of stairs and this man mercilessly stalked her. This was not a crime of mental illness or anything. He stayed one floor below and watched her go up those stairs. And then he moved methodically one flight up at a time. He was absolutely in full control.’
The prior allegations against Nash include an attack on a NYC subway straphanger last September, but that alleged assault was deemed insufficiently serious to hold him in custody pending trial, thanks to New York’s bail reform laws aimed at lowering the state’s jail population.
‘Our elected officials need to do something much different,’ Chin said.
Piercing screams for help
‘My grandparents are Chinese immigrants that came here trying to build themselves up,’ he added. ‘We built up this community and it’s just getting torn down so fast by one district attorney. It’s heart wrenching.’
NYPD officers responded to the building on Chrystie Street near Grand Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Street around 4:20 a.m. after neighbors reported hearing a woman’s screaming for help.
Lee’s apartment door was barricaded shut and when police made their way inside, the woman was found in her bathtub ‘bleeding from multiple wounds to the body’.
FDNY medics pronounced Lee dead at 5:55 a.m.
Nash was still in the apartment when police arrived and was found hiding underneath a bed, covered in blood.
Nash is known to police as a homeless career criminal and who has escaped from police custody several times.
He was arrested for attacking a woman in May 2021, but that case was sealed, the nypost reported. But he was allowed to remain on bail despite skipping a court hearing for the September subway attack at Grand Central Station.
Lee’s landlord told reporters that building has cameras on every floor, and that his family had installed steel doors on all the apartments.
‘We have such tight security in this building we have steel doors,’ Chin said. ‘It took a swat team over 10 minutes to gain access. These doors are designed to keep monsters out.’
But the suspect still found his way in.
‘She got out of a cab right here and he followed her,’ Chin said. ‘He grabbed the front door just before it closed. He followed her all the way up, hanging back, staying one floor behind her all the way up to the sixth floor. Then, he waited until her door was just about closed and he went in.’
Chin described Lee as a ‘wonderful human being’ whose ‘smile lit up the room.’
‘She came to the city for the lure of New York, you know, like the Big Apple, the big city, you know, boundless opportunities,’ he said.
According to Lee’s website and LinkedIn page, she’s a New York-based creative producer dealing in national-scale marketing content for select names like Google, Twix, Equinox, TOMS, Cole Haan and ALDO.
Soaring NYC crime
Crime in NYC, year to date had increased 41.65 percent overall, with robbery up nearly 35 percent, and violent felonies up 13.3 percent according to NYC police statistics.
Also cited as potential reasons for crime going up dramatically include increased tensions between the police and public, claims of politicians being soft-on-crime along with bail reform leading to individuals who previously would’ve been locked up, free to roam the streets.
Rape has also increased by more than 35 percent and overall crime in NYC has skyrocketed by 41.65 percent, according to the NYPD data.
Murders, meanwhile, are down 13 percent at this time over last year, while shootings have increased by a startling 30 percent.
The Manhattan precinct has seen burglaries skyrocket to 30 so far this year compared to just seven for the same period in 2021 – an increase of more than 400 percent – while grand larcenies and felony assaults nearly doubled from 15 to 29 and eight to 15, respectively.