Queens

Arrest Made in Unprovoked Face-Breaking Punch on 75-Year-Old NYC Woman

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Police have arrested a 24-year-old Queens man in connection with an unprovoked attack that left a 75-year-old woman with a fractured orbital bone and other injuries in Queens last month, the NYPD said Monday.

Christian Batista is charged with second- and third-degree assault in the May 26 broad daylight attack on the woman near 57th Avenue and 97th Place in Corona.

The woman was on her way home from a grocery store around 2:30 p.m. that day when she was punched in the face, authorities have said.

The victim was an Asian woman but police say the incident is not being investigated as a hate crime.

Surveillance video from the scene shows the suspect walking along the street, and when he's about to pass the victim, he quickly punches her with his left arm. The woman falls back and onto the ground, with the man seen calmly walking away afterward.

The victim suffered a fractured nose and right orbital bone and has been recovering since. A photo released by her family shows bruising around her eyes. The rest of her face was concealed to protect her identity.

No words were exchanged between the attacker and the victim but the woman's son said he thought bias was a motivator because she is Asian -- and there have been a spate of attacks on Asian Americans in the city lately. The NYPD has said it is not investigating this particular case as a potential hate crime.

Suspect punching woman on street
NYPD
The suspect was seen on video hitting an Asian woman on the street in Queens, then calmly walking away,

"My mom's mostly fine, thank god. She was in the hospital for like eight hours," said her son, who also doesn't wish to be identified. "She told me she doesn't really remember. She's just walking, like in the video, and someone just sucker-punched her. She didn't lose consciousness, thank god."

The NYPD says it has investigated 86 incidents so far this year involving Asian victims. That's more than four times as many as last year's reports.

Information on a possible attorney for Batista wasn't immediately available.

Actor Danny Glover was among the celebs and big names to join a rally in Chinatown urging for an end to attacks against the Asian community. NBC New York's Gaby Acevedo reports.
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