The incident, which caught two male suspects on camera, took place near 16th Ave. and 77th St. in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn around 6:45 p.m. on July 14.
The victim, now 90, just stepped outside her home when the suspects allegedly approached and slapped her face.
When she moved away, they set the back of her shirt on fire with either a match or a lighter, according to investigators.
The victim reportedly rubbed her back against a wall as soon as she realized she was in flames. Fortunately, she did not suffer any serious injury.
The suspects did not rob the victim. Community members believe the incident was a hate crime, but the police have not found any evidence to support the claim.
Wu’s pledge matches the existing $15,000 reward fund from Homecrest Community Services (HCS) and musician MC Jin.
“I was appalled when I saw the news that a 90-year-old grandmother was struck and set on fire in a racially motivated attack,” Wu told the Brooklyn Eagle. “This attack must be classified as a hate crime and be treated that way by the police department as they continue to investigate. We all need to stand up against hateful actions like this and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
HCS was a major meal distributor to Asian American seniors at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Board Chair Don Lee believes the incident was a hate crime.
“There are a lot of other people who live in this neighborhood but they purposely picked — two individuals purposely picked on an Asian woman, Asian senior to commit this heinous crime. There’s no other reason other than it’s a hate crime,” Lee told ABC 7 NY in July.
MC Jin, who managed to speak to the victim, also believes it was a hate crime.
“This 90-year-old Asian Grandma represents exactly what we need at this time,” he told NextShark. “A strength and boldness to speak out on atrocities such as what happened to her so that there can be change. I thank her and everyone who is doing their part to amplify the voices of the unheard.”
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.