A 34-year-old woman says she was harassed by a man who made several anti-Asian statements towards her on New York City subway. No one came to her aide except a man who appeared to be homeless.
The woman, who doesn't wish to be identified, told NBC New York that she was on a Q train near 96th Street on Thursday around noon when the man came up to her and pointed his finger at her face while "spewing random racist crap." Police say the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident.
Like so many other attacks and harassment against people of Asian descent in recent months, the victim said no one initially stepped in and helped her while she was being harassed. Just last week, two Manhattan doormen were fired after they allegedly did nothing while watching a 65-year-old Filipino American woman being brutally attacked.
Standing up for herself, she said she told the man to leave her alone but it only made things worse.
"I told him him to go away because I didn't want to hear any of that, and he just got more aggressive," she said, adding that there were just a few people on the train.
When the stranger got closer to her, the victim said a homeless man was the only person who got involved. She said that the homeless man on the other end of the train shouted at the aggressor, ran over and scared him away.
"So I'm very thankful for him," the woman said.
The incident came less than 24 hours after activists took to the subway to protest against rising attacks and harassment against people of Asian descent. Police data show that there have been 54 anti-Asian crimes so far this year, compared to 12 the same time last year.
The victim said Thursday's encounter was the first time she has been harassed in this manner. "It was kind of a surprise but kind of not, all at once," she said, adding that there's not much she can do but report the incident.
On the same day, police say they arrested a 31-year-old man who allegedly made anti-Asian statements to a 25-year-old woman in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday. Daniel Negroni was accused of trying to punch the woman but she was able to escape without injuries. He has been charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime.