Elderly Asian woman sucker punched in Manhattan now feels ‘closer to normal’, son says

Suspect wanted for assaulting a 68-year-old Asian American woman in Manhattan

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with colored surveillance images of the suspect and information on Leland Yu’s Run for Chinatown

A 68-year-old Asian American woman who fell to the ground after being punched out of the blue in New York City is doing better since the incident, her son tells NextShark.

What happened: The woman was out for a walk after 10 p.m. on July 27 when an unidentified man punched her from behind outside a flower shop in Lower Manhattan. No words were exchanged during the encounter, according to police.

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  • The incident in front of Shu’s Flower on Mulberry Street was caught on surveillance video, which police released on Monday. In it, the suspect is seen punching the victim once before taking off.
  • The victim reportedly refused medical attention at the scene. But an employee from a nearby restaurant tried to help her after the assault, her son, Leland Yu, told NextShark.
  • The suspect, who is wanted for assault, remains at large. While the victim is Asian, police said the attack is currently not being investigated as a hate crime.

Family speaks out: Yu, who has organized running challenges to raise funds for Chinatown frontliners and businesses, says his family has been in the neighborhood for four generations now. The incident was a first and it shocked the family.

  • “Although there has been a spike in Asian hate crimes in the pandemic era, our family has been in Chinatown for generations and has not experienced an incident like this,” Yu told NextShark. “Personally, it is sinking in deep that this can happen to anybody, anywhere, anytime.”
  • Yu’s mother was born and raised in Chinatown. The 68-year-old “has spent her entire life giving back to the community and has passed down that love for the neighborhood to me,” Yu said.
  • The victim, just like her father, likes to take walks around the neighborhood even at night. She has never had a problem before, Yu said.
  • The victim is “doing OK” at present. Yu says she had headaches for a couple of days and was sensitive to “certain noises” after the attack, but she is “feeling closer to normal now.”
  • Yu leaves a message for the Asian American community: “To the Asian American community, despite the rise in the outward expression of anti-Asian hate, we must have the courage to move around in the world freely and pursue the lives that we want to live, as people of all colors and backgrounds should be able to do. Although my mom was the recent victim of an attack, I know that she will overcome her pains and not let it stop her from standing on her own two feet as a proud Asian American born and bred in Chinatown, NYC.”
  • Yu is also inviting the public to join his running initiative, Run for Chinatown. The group meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at 60 Mulberry St. near Columbus Park.

Yu says New York police are in touch with his mother and have assured them that they are working on the case. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or message @NYPDTips on Twitter.

Featured Image via New York Police Department

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