Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with additional details from the original poster.
A woman took to social media to expose the “ugly face” of a man who allegedly coughed at her, her brother and two other Asian pedestrians in New York City this week.
The encounter, which occurred in broad daylight blocks away from NYC’s largest COVID-19 patient intake center at Elmhurst Hospital, follows incidents of discrimination against Asians or Asian Americans in the city, as well as the rest of the world, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a fuming Facebook post on Wednesday, the woman, who described her story in a public Facebook post but requested her identity be kept private, shared how she and her brother had come across the man, just after they had gone out of quarantine to shop for groceries.
“Take a good look at this ugly face. After being quarantined for plenty of days, I finally ran out of groceries so I decided to leave the house to get some necessities,” the woman wrote. “While my brother and I were walking back to our bikes, this a**hole coughs right at us and two other pedestrians (whom were also Asian).”
The incident took place on March 25 at 4:00 p.m. on the corner of Broadway and 51st Ave in Queens, New York.
The woman said that the man was surprised when she retaliated, but he was also quick to deny his actions. Unfortunately for him, she was not one to give a free pass.
“When I confronted him about it and how he was being a racist coward for displaying that ungraceful non-verbal cue, he immediately denies his action and tries to gaslight me. Didn’t work. Then, he decides to instigate a fight. Didn’t work.”
During the confrontation, the woman claimed the man said, “You people are the reason why we are all going to die,” and “I hope you die from the coronavirus and I will be laughing when you die.”
Fed up of the encounter, she schooled the man right on the street — and at the very top of her voice. She swore to inform the world of his behavior.
“I used the LOUDEST teacher’s voice and told him that he’s being a f***ing idiot for being racist as a minority himself. You sir, are the lowest denominator and I will make you internet famous.”
Notable incidents of recent racism and xenophobia in New York City include an Asian man getting doused on the street for “having coronavirus” and an Asian woman getting blamed for the outbreak on the subway.
“This freaking country is losing it,” she continued. “After this whole s*** blows over, I’m moving out of this planet.”
The woman’s post has received thousands of reactions, shares and comments from people condemning the man’s behavior. Many urged her to report him to the police, citing similar cases in which perpetrators faced charges.
“This is now considered a terroristic threat under the law,” one commented.
“Anyone could be asymptomatic. Coughing at someone as a joke exposes them to risk of infection if they don’t know they’re asymptomatic or not,” the woman told NextShark.
She also revealed that she did file a police report:
“I filed a police report at the 110th precinct and was informed that it will be filed under harassment and not as a hate crime because there were no bodily fluids exchanged (spitting) and because I did not call 911 while the incident was occurring, they were not able to gather enough evidence to prove that it was a hate crime based off of my statement and my brother’s statement (witness).”