GuiYing Ma: Asian woman, 61, dies 3 months after being hit on head with rock in NYC
QUEENS, NEW YORK: An Asian woman who was beaten with a rock in Queens succumbed to her injuries nearly three months after the brutal assault. GuiYing Ma, 61, died at Elmhurst Hospital from the head injuries she suffered when she was attacked on November 26, 2021, in North Corona.
Ma's landlord said that before she died, her loved ones believed she was making progress. “We told her to wave her hand, and she waved her hand,” Yihung Hsieh, 46, told New York Post. "We told her to put her hand on her belly and she did. We told her to use her right thumb to say OK, she understands. And she did it. Before Tuesday, everything was good news.”
At the time of the attack, the suspect, Elisual Perez, 33, approached Ma on a sidewalk which she was sweeping, following which the two had an argument over something that is unknown. Surveillance video obtained by police showed Perez strike Ma with a large rock he picked up off the ground, after which she lost consciousness. Police reportedly recovered the rock, which had blood on it. Perez later confessed to his crime to detectives. “The defendant stated in sum and substance: I hit her on the head with a rock,” according to the court records.
Ma was rushed to the hospital and subsequently treated for a right skull fracture, facial fractures and internal bleeding on her brain. Perez was charged with assault after being arrested at the scene. However, the charges could be upgraded now, officials have said.
“We are reviewing the latest development in this tragedy and will add or upgrade any appropriate charges supported by the evidence,” a statement from the Queens District Attorney’s Office said. “In the meanwhile, on behalf of the District Attorney, we extend our condolences to the family.” Although the crime was reported to the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force, police could not determine whether or not it was a bias crime.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Ma. "The family of GuiYing Ma is heartbroken to announce that 62-year-old Queens resident GuiYing Ma died at 9:29 p.m. on February 22, 2022 as a result of “Complications of Blunt Impact Injury of Head"," the page reads. The attack permanently damaged the right side of Mrs. Ma’s brain. But the love between Mrs. Ma and her husband Mr. Zhanxin Gao remained. Despite being connected to a ventilator and a feeding tube, Mrs. Ma responded to Mr. Gao by moving her eyes and tearing up when Mr. Gao would speak to her at the hospital. In early February 2022 and just over 10 weeks after the attack, Mrs. Ma awoke from her coma, and was able to raise her hand in response to Mr. Gao even though she could not speak still."
"Mrs. Ma came to New York four years ago from Liaoning, China. She will be remembered as an outgoing, friendly and kind individual who took care of everyone, and insisted on giving to others even when she had very little to give. She is survived by her husband, a son and two grandchildren. Services for Mrs. Ma will be announced after her son is able to arrange travel to New York City," the page reads. "The family thanks the NYPD and Queens County District Attorney’s Office for seeking justice for Mrs. Ma and providing social worker assistance. The family also thanks the many members of the community who have helped them, including Congressperson Grace Meng and her office, Senator John Liu, SoarOverHate, the New York Northeastern Chinese Association, Asians Fighting Injustice, and the family’s pro bono attorneys at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP." At the time this article was written, $195,030 had been raised of the $200,000 goal.