Asian woman bashed with hammer after stranger demands she remove mask

The New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating after two Asian women were attacked in Manhattan on Sunday, with one being hit in the head with a hammer.

The Asian women, ages 31 and 29, were seen walking on a sidewalk when an individual approached them and demanded they remove their face masks.

The individual, who was seen wearing all black, then attacked the women and “struck the 31-year-old in the head with a hammer causing a laceration,” according to a statement from the task force on Twitter. 

The task force also shared video of the violent incident on Twitter, during which several bystanders can be seen nearby.

The woman who was hit with the hammer, identified only by her first name, Theresa, told ABC7 in New York that she is in shock over the incident.

“She was talking to herself, like talking to a wall, I thought maybe she was drunk or something, so we just wanted to pass through her quickly and when I passed through her, she saw us and said ‘Take off your f—ing mask,’ which is shocking,” Theresa told the outlet. “Suddenly I felt my head get hit by something.”

The Hate Crimes Task Force urged people with potential information to contact the NYPD. Authorities are investigating the attack as a possible bias crime, according to multiple reports.

Medics took the 31-year-old victim to a nearby hospital in stable condition with cuts on her head.

The attacker fled on foot following the violent incident. 

New hate crime data from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino found that hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by 169 percent when comparing the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 in 15 major U.S. cities.

The highest increase was documented in New York, where hate crimes jumped 223 percent.

Earlier this year, a gunman in the Atlanta area killed eight people in multiple shootings, including six Asian women. Authorities have not publicly confirmed that the shooting was motivated by race.

Tags Anti-Asian violence New York City

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