New York police have arrested and charged a man who beat up a 65-year-old Asian woman while making "anti-Asian statements", the New York Police Department (NYPD) said on Wednesday (Mar 31).
Police identified the suspect as Brandon Elliot, 38, who was already on lifetime parole for murdering his mother, the NYPD said in a statement to Reuters.
The elderly victim was approached "by an unidentified male" along a street in Midtown Manhattan shortly before noon on Monday, NYPD's hate crimes department said earlier. The assailant "punched and kicked her about the body", the police said, appealing for information.
Videos circulating on social media showed the man kicking the woman in the stomach, knocking her to the ground and stamping on her at least three times before walking away.
One man shut the door of a nearby building without attending to the victim, the footage showed.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, was hospitalised with multiple injuries, including a broken pelvis. She was in a stable condition, police said.
Elliot has been charged with a hate crime, the NYPD said in a tweet on Wednesday. He was arrested at a hotel serving as a shelter for homeless people.
New York City's police commissioner Dermot Shea said last week that targeting anyone "because of the colour of their skin, the religion they worship, their sexual preference or anything else" would not be tolerated.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the violence was becoming "an epidemic" across the country that "must stop now."
The city's mayor Bill de Blasio called on anyone who witnesses an attack to "literally shout" to disturb the aggressor and attract attention.
New York City has launched plans to deploy an all-Asian undercover police team following a rise in hate crimes in the US, including shooting attacks in Atlanta earlier this month in which six Asian women were killed.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by 149 per cent in 2020 in 16 major cities compared with 2019, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
The US government on Tuesday announced a set of measures responding to rising anti-Asian violence, including deploying US$49.5 million from COVID-19 relief funds for community programmes that help victims.