Who is Yao Pan Ma? Asian man, 61, in coma after being stomped on head 6 times while collecting cans
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: The wife of an Asian man who was seriously wounded after being kicked in the head by a stranger in East Harlem, Manhattan, at around 8.30 pm on Friday, April 23 night, pleaded with police on Saturday, April 24 to find her husband's attacker and make him "pay."
Yao Pan Ma, 61, was collecting cans along Third Avenue and East 125th Street on April 23 to help his family pay rent when he was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground, and kicked in the head at least six times. A bus driver called the police after seeing him unconscious on the ground. Police have released video of the brutal assault that comes amid a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes. The man is now in a medically induced coma after being repeatedly stomped on. Here's what you need to know about the incident.
Warning: Graphic content
If you have any info regarding Friday night’s horrific attack, at E. 125 and 3rd Ave, you are urged to call or DM @NYPDTips 1-800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/wNrCAuEdeu— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) April 24, 2021
From racism and stereotyping to acceptance and celebration, Asian American actors chart community's portrayal in Hollywood over the years
Who is Brandon Elliot? New York man who kicked elderly Asian-American woman arrested, charged with hate crime
Who is Yao Pan Ma?
Yao Pan Ma used to work in a restaurant, assisting the cook and washing dishes, but due to the pandemic, he lost his employment. According to Ma's 20-year-old niece, he moved to New York two years ago. After their Chinatown apartment burned down, they relocated to Harlem and he eventually lost his job. He supplemented his family's income by collecting cans, according to ABC7NY.
The niece describes Ma as "a very quiet person, very hardworking", and not the kind of person who would cause trouble. "We are completely in shock -- terrified and scared and frustrated," she said to the news outlet. “I’m scared and paranoid. I don’t feel safe,” she said to the New York Post. “I’m afraid to walk on the streets when it’s dark. I go home before it gets dark. There are so many of these incidents happening. Now it’s close to home … It is so wrong that this happens and it’s not just one time", and added: “He didn’t do anything to deserve this.”
'A hard-working man'
“My husband is a hard-working man,” Ma’s wife of 31 years, Baozhen Chen, 57, told The New York Post. “He picks up bottles to help pay the rent and the bills. He is innocent. He did not do anything wrong. He is a very kind person. He is quiet. He doesn’t cause trouble to make people mad.”
Chen, a home nurse who cares for elderly patients, was at work and not due home until after the weekend when she received the shocking news from the police. “I was scared. I was crying,” she said in the report. “I didn’t know what to do. Why? Why did they do this to my husband? Why did this happen? It was sudden. I didn’t expect this.” The couple have two grown children, both of whom are married and are living in China.
'When I see him at the hospital, I cry'
According to his wife and police reports, Ma is now in a critical condition in a medically induced coma at Harlem Hospital. According to the reports, he sustained a cerebral contusion and facial fractures. “When I saw him in the hospital … his face, I cried. I still cry,” she said. She added that she called out his name when she visited him on April 24 and added: “He didn’t give me a response.” “I hope he wakes up and talks to me and gets better and comes home,” she said. “It’s really hard to believe … Too cruel.”
"This is outrageous. Make no mistake, we will find the perpetrator and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you have any information on this vicious act of hate please contact @NYPDHateCrimes IMMEDIATELY," tweeted Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The perpetrator, who was last seen wearing a black jacket, black jeans, white sneakers and a multi-colored baseball cap, is still on the loose, according to police. Following the attack, the suspect then casually walks away. The investigation into the vicious, unprovoked attack is being led by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Unit.
Anyone with details about this incident is requested to contact the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or 1-888-57-PISTA for Spanish (74782). The public can also send tips by visiting the Crime Stoppers website, WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or by following @NYPDTips on Twitter.