Who is Than Htwe? Asian woman, 58, critical after robber yanks her down NYC subway stairs

Than Htwe was walking down the subway stairs when a man tried to steal her son's backpack and yanked the two down in the process

                            Who is Than Htwe? Asian woman, 58, critical after robber yanks her down NYC subway stairs
The suspect who attacked Than Htwe at an NYC subway (Twitter/ NYPD News)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: An elderly Asian woman suffered life-threatening critical injuries after she was attacked on the subway stairs in a borough of New York City. Identified as Than Htwe, the woman wasn't alone when the attack took place. Her 22-year-old son Kyaw Zaw Hein was walking with her on the stairs of a Manhattan subway station on Saturday morning, July 17, when a man tried to grab his backpack causing them to fall down the stairs.

The attack happened around 10.45 am that day at the Canal St Q train station but is hardly an isolated incident in the wake of steady hate crimes against Asian-Americans. Reported the same day as this attack, a 'Downtown Karen' was caught on camera harassing Asian-Americans and luring their dogs into traffic. Just a month ago, another elderly Asian-American woman was sucker-punched by an NYC man as violence against the community rose by 1,300 per cent. In Htwe's case, as she continues to be treated at Bellevue Hospital, her family is worried if she is going to survive the attack.


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Who is Than Htwe?

The 58-year-old Asian American woman had to undergo surgery after the subway mugger's attack caused them to be yanked down the stairs of the station. Both she and her son suffered injuries with Htwe's head sustaining the most critical ones. Medics took the mother and son to Bellevue Hospital, where experts operated on Htwe. Speaking to the New York Daily News, Htwe's son expressed deep shock as the family continues to stay by her side at the hospital. A distraught female relative also told the outlet that chances of Htwe dying from the injuries are as high as 80 per cent. "We don't know if she's going to make it," she said.

Htwe had moved from Myanmar to America in 2018 to be with her son, who is her only child. "She came here for me. For my education," her son Hein told the outlet, adding that his father was left heartbroken with the incident, breaking down every time he sees Htwe's belongings in their home. "The most important thing I have to tell you is, if you have a mother, take care of her," Hein told the outlet. 

People participate in a protest to demand an end to anti-Asian violence on April 4, 2021, in New York City (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NYPD seeks public's help in identifying suspect

The suspect was identified as a Black man from the surveillance video shared by police. He was caught by the station's security cameras, as he walked through a turnstile. Police have since released photos of the suspect, asking help from the public to identify the man clad in a white bandana, black pants, and a gray tee shirt at the time. 

In a tweet shared from the official NYPD News account, authorities wrote: "WANTED for ATTEMPTED ROBBERY: On 7/17 at 9:40 AM, inside the Canal St "N" subway station in Manhattan, the suspect tried to forcibly remove a bag, causing two victims to fall down the stairs, leaving one victim in critical condition. Any info? DM @NYPDTips
or call 800-577-TIPS."