Over the past year, we’ve seen a major rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the nation. The attacks are incredibly disturbing and unwarranted, and yet another act of hate was carried out against a 38-year-old Asian man last Saturday in Central Park. The victim, who does not wish to be identified, was enjoying a casual day in the park with his family when the attack occurred, according to police. 

Anti-Asian hate protester
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Around 1pm on the day of the attack, the victim and his family were inside the park when they were approached by the suspect by the Hernshead Rocks on the Upper West Side. According to the victim, something was clearly “off” about the attacker, as he was whispering sexual comments into the victim’s wife’s ear. 

“You can tell that something just wasn’t right,” the victim said. “He was sorta pacing back and forth through this area and he was just kind of muttering to himself…. He started coming closer to my wife and my 5-year-old son, and I could tell he was whispering something into her ear.”

The victim’s wife became incredibly uncomfortable, so the family kept moving to avoid the attacker, but eventually, he cornered them. “Now he’s really in my face and I asked him really politely, ‘Hey let’s practice social distance, you don’t have a mask on, it’s a pretty big park, let’s practice social distance,’” the victim said. “And then he muttered something to me and said, well, ‘You got a mask. That’s an advantage.’ And then he mentioned ‘You guys always have the advantage.'”

Anti-AAPI hate protesters
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The attacker then punched the victim in the face and ran off. While the victim is in stable condition, his cheek was fractured in two places, and he believes him and his family were specifically targeted. “It’s hard to tell if this was motivated by race,” he said. “However, we believe that we were targeted, and whether it’s through the fetishes of Asian women in general and sort of the stereotypes they carry, we believe that it’s worth it for us to speak up.”