Attack on Filipino man slashed across the face denounced

Noel Quintana, 61: ‘Nobody helped me.’ Photo: ABC TV

Filipino Americans slammed the assault of a 61-year-old man whose face was slashed in a Manhattan subway on February 3.

Noel Quintana, 61, was on the L subway train on his way to work in Harlem when he was attacked by an “emotionally disturbed” man, according to news reports. The man was allegedly kicking his backpack, and when Quintana asked him to stop, the man pulled out a box cutter and slashed the Filipino office worker’s face.

“I put my hand on my face. I was bleeding profusely,” he told the New York Daily News. “I was so scared…I was so afraid of dying.” He told ABC-TV that nobody who witnessed the slashing incident had offered to help.  

Consul Arman Talbo said the Philippine Consulate has been trying to reach Quintana to offer its assistance. “It’s terrible what happened to him,” he told The FilAm. “We have been trying to get in touch with him. Hindi pa naman siya lumalapit sa amin.”

Immigration attorney Cristina Godinez said she knows Quintana to be a “soft-spoken, mild-mannered person” incapable of provoking any kind of violence.

“Quintana volunteered at the faith-based migrant center where I work,” she writes on Facebook. “He is a soft-spoken, mild-mannered person with an easy smile. Last Wednesday, he was the victim of a violent, random slashing on the L subway train. Thankfully, he is recovering.” She said the alleged attacker needs to be apprehended for Quintana to file appropriate charges.

From left, licensed social worker Kari Tabag, lawyer Cristina Godinez, and children’s book author Christina Newhard. Facebook photos

It’s been heartbreaking, said children’s book author Christina Newhard,  to see the rash of senseless attacks on Asian elders in the past few weeks, some coming from “straight up hatred” others from “targeted robbery.”

“It’s hard to take it in, or know what to do, how to pull apart a long history of othering and targeting Asians with violence,” she said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said crime in NYC is down, but he failed to mention that assaults on Asian Americans are rising since the beginning of COVID-19 more than a year ago.   

The racial act of hatred against Quintana “needs to be addressed,” Kari Tabag, a school social worker with the NYC Department of Education in Queens, told The FilAm.

She said, “Governments need to take urgent steps to prevent racist and xenophobic violence and discrimination while prosecuting racial attacks against Asians and people of Asian descent. The fact that the Mayor of New York City, home to approximately 1 million Asians, refuses to acknowledge the problem is a racial act of hatred itself.”

Tabag brushed aside de Blasio’s statistics that crime plunged 50 percent this year from last year.

Data, she said, indicate that “Asian Americans are the only racial group that experienced increased victimization across all offenses since 2018.”

Since the pandemic began, she recalled her own experience with race-motivated bias.  “I have been spat on, verbally harassed, called Chink several times and Corona bitch. The fact that Asian elders are being attacked is even more heartbreaking as elders in our culture are our patriarchs and matriarchs. You attack one of us, you attack all of us.” – Cristina DC Pastor

NaFFAA continues to update its list of newly elected, re-elected Filipino American officials in 2020. Email for information.

© The FilAm 2021

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