When will New York be safe again for the elderly?

The Yonkers woman being followed by her suspected attacker on March 11 as seen in this photo released by the Yonkers Police Department.

A 67-year-old woman from the Ilocos region was seriously injured after she was brutally assaulted in an anti-Asian hate incident in Yonkers on March 11.

She is currently in stable condition and could be discharged from the hospital anytime, Consul General Elmer Cato said this week.

The Yonkers Police Department issued the following statement.

“On Friday, March 11th, at approximately 6:11 p.m., members of the Yonkers Police Department Investigation yielded that the victim, a 67-year-old resident of the City of Yonkers, was returning home and saw the suspect in front of the building. As she walked past him, he called her an ‘Asian bitch;’ the victim is of Asian descent. Ignoring his comment, the victim entered the vestibule of the building and was attempting to open the second door to enter the lobby when, without warning, the suspect approached from behind and punched her in the head, knocking her to the floor; he then stood over her and proceeded to punch her in the head and face more than 125 times with alternating fist strikes before foot-stomping her seven times and spitting on her. As a result of the beating, the victim suffered multiple contusions and lacerations to her head and face, facial bone fractures, and bleeding on the brain; she is currently listed in stable condition and is recovering in the hospital.”

Cato said the Consulate was informed of this development by the family of the victim. “We have reached out to the family of our kababayan and assured them that we will assist in whatever way we could,” the Consul General said.

On Tuesday, he joined leaders of the Asian-American community and local elected officials in a press conference outside the Yonkers City Hall where they expressed their outrage over the incident and called on authorities to do more to stem the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

‘Mayor Eric Adams promised to make New York City safe again and we are counting on him to fulfill that promise.’ – Congen Elmer Cato

Those present included leaders of the Asian-American Federation, the Asian-American Democratic Committee, and local officials led by Congressman Jamaal Bowman and Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano.

“We know authorities are doing their best to make the streets safe again but we also understand they could not be everywhere,” Cato said. “But we do hope that authorities exert more efforts to remove violent and dangerous people off the streets and make everyone—not just Filipinos or other members of the Asian-American Community—feel safe again.” He said most of the incidents were perpetrated against the elderly and vulnerable by homeless individuals with criminal records or mental health problems.

The consulate has recorded 26 cases involving violent attacks and other incidents against Filipinos since last year when a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and other incidents was noted. “We are convinced there are more but these are unreported,” he said.

Cato said the incident in Yonkers was the third in two days involving members of the Filipino American community. A day before, two elderly Filipino women were injured after they were shoved by unidentified individuals in two separate incidents in Queens.

“The incident in Yonkers is the second in our community where elderly victims were followed and assaulted inside their apartment buildings,” he said, referring to last year’s vicious attack in Sunnyside, Queens, that left a 72-year-old Filipino woman, seriously injured. 

On Thursday, March 10, a Filipina who is in her late 50s, walking with a cane, and suffering from poor eyesight, was shoved down the stairs by an unidentified man at the 179th Street Station of the F Train in the neighborhood of Jamaica in Queens.

On the same day, another Filipina in her mid-60s was pushed by an unidentified man at the Long Island Rail Road train platform, also in Jamaica, causing her to land on her face and break her eyeglasses in the process.

The Yonkers woman, a dual citizen from the Ilocos region, is the third victim.

23 incidents in 2021

Last year, there were 23 incidents involving Filipinos that were reported to the consulate.

Prior to the Jamaica incidents, several Asian-Americans were also at the receiving end of violence in the subways, with the latest involving an Asian man who sustained injuries after another man repeatedly struck him in the head with a hammer.

In another incident, seven Asian women were assaulted within minutes of each other by a man in separate incidents in Manhattan. The latest incidents came less than a month after Mayor Eric Adams unveiled his Subway Safety Plan to address the surge of violence and homelessness in platforms and stations.

It has led to the arrest of 143 individuals, removal of 455 others from trains and stations, and the issuance of 1,553 tickets for various violations.

Despite the measures, New York City is still experiencing a skyrocketing crime rate with incidents rising nearly 60 percent in February compared to the same month last year.

“Mayor Eric Adams promised to make New York City safe again and we are counting on him to fulfill that promise,” Cato said.

The Consulate will hold a self-defense and situational awareness webinar on March 28 to be facilitated by Black 6 Project, a humanitarian assistance group made up mostly of Filipino-American military veterans.  – With PNA

© The FilAm 2022

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