A 49-year-old Manhattan man has been arrested in connection with last week's brutal head stomp attack on a 61-year-old Asian man in East Harlem, cops say.
Jarrod Powell was cuffed on two felony assault as a hate crime counts and an attempted murder charge around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday. Police had been looking for him since Friday night's attack near Third Avenue and East 125th Street. NBC New York learned that it was a tip from a fellow homeless person that led to Powell's arrest.
According to police, the suspect hit the victim in the back, causing him to fall to the ground. Then he allegedly proceeded to kick him multiple times in the head before running off. Video tweeted out by police appears to show the brutal head stomp.
The victim was said to have sustained "significant injury." He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and remains that way, but is expected to survive. It was not clear if Powell had an attorney who could comment on the allegations against him.
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Powell, 49, was initially charged just with felony assault, but after an investigation by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force, the charges were elevated. When asked about the attack by reporters, Powell said "I was maced."
Though Friday night's attack hasn't been deemed a hate crime by police, it comes amid a wave of racially-motivated attacks against Asian Americans. It also echoes a similar caught-on-camera incident in Hell's Kitchen last month where a 65-year-old woman was kicked repeatedly.
A man on parole for killing his own mother was arrested in that case.
At the time of the Hell's Kitchen attack, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office had more than a dozen anti-Asian hate crime cases open this year alone.
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The Senate passed legislation Thursday targeting anti-Asian hate crimes after an uptick of incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, considered a similar version of the bill introduced by Rep. Grace Meng, D-NY, on Wednesday.