The NYC subway system saw two separate attacks on elderly Asian women on Tuesday. A 58-year-old and a 71-year-old woman both reported to police that they were punched by a stranger while trying to travel on the city’s subways.
The first attack occurred early in the morning at a Harlem subway station. The 58-year-old woman was punched in the back of the head while standing on the platform. The second came just before noon, when the 71-year-old woman claimed she was punched in the face while seated on a train. Her attacker fled through several cars as the woman tried to catch him. He escaped the train at the next station, according to the New York Post.
”Just with his right hand, punched my left side face,” the woman told WABC. “Hurt and blood, bleeding.”
Though the NYPD is investigating both assaults and has no evidence that the attacks were racially motivated, the older victim said she believed the attack was a hate crime. Overall, violent hate crimes against Asian people are on the rise in the United States.
“Hate Asian people. Because very obviously I’m strong, big,” she said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack “unacceptable” on Twitter.
“This is unacceptable,” he wrote. “We will NOT tolerate violence on our subways.”