An elderly Asian woman is in critical condition after a man randomly struck her head with a large rock in Queens on Friday morning.
What happened: Quiying Ma, 61, was sweeping outside her apartment on 89th Street in Jackson Heights when the incident occurred at around 8 a.m. She sustained injuries to her head and face and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital.
- The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Elisaul Perez, allegedly approached Ma and bashed her head with the rock before fleeing the scene.
- Ma, a native of China’s Liaoning province, has been living in the U.S. with her husband, who works as a restaurant cleaner. She reportedly lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aftermath: Ma suffered serious brain bleeding requiring surgery to relieve pressure from her skull, according to her friend Yihung Hsieh, who owns the 89th Street property.
- “She’s not only a tenant, she is just like my family. I treat her like my auntie, because my mom just passed away,” Hsieh told CNN. “I can barely fall asleep or eat well. I feel just like my family was hurt.”
- Sweeping outside the apartment was not Ma’s job; however, loved ones described her as helpful by nature. “She’s so sweet. She helps friends, neighbors, she helps everybody,” her sister, Jing Zhang, told WABC.
- Perez was arrested on Saturday and charged with first and second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to FOX 5 NY. Police are investigating the case as a hate crime.
- Hsieh said Ma was making progress by Sunday afternoon and showed signs of responsiveness, moving her fingers and toes and reacting to itching and pain.
Ma has no medical insurance, according to Hsieh, who set up a GoFundMe page to help with her medical bills. Over $68,000 of the $100,000 goal has been raised, as of this when this article was written.
Featured Image via Yihung Hsieh / GoFundMe