Warning: This article contains descriptions of stalking and violence some readers may find disturbing.
New York City residents expressed shock and outrage on Sunday after an Asian woman was fatally stabbed by a man with a lengthy rap sheet, which included 27 charges from a single arrest last month.
The killing reportedly took place in the victim’s Chinatown apartment at 111 Chrystie St. in the wee hours of the morning, leaving neighbors terrorized and fearful for their own safety, reported the New York Post.
Christina Yuna Lee, 35, was found in her bathtub “bleeding from multiple wounds to her body,” according to New York police. A neighbor phoned 911 after hearing Lee scream for help.
“She was calling for help, screaming for help. I woke up to it. It was awful,” the neighbor told the New York Post. “‘Help me! Call 911’ – that’s exactly what she said over and over and over again.”
Surveillance video shows the suspect following Lee into her apartment moments before the gruesome attack. Responding officers recovered a bloody knife, which they believe to be from Lee’s own kitchen.
Officers from the 5th Precinct reportedly responded at around 4:35 a.m. They arrested 25-year-old Assamad Nash, who allegedly hid under the bed after trying to flee through the fire escape.
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Nash, who is reportedly homeless, has three active cases and a history of multiple escapes from police custody. Just last month, he was charged with 27 counts of criminal mischief for damaging MetroCard machines, according to the New York Post.
Overall, the 25-year-old was reported to have at least seven arrests dating back to 2015, ABC7 New York reported. He is expected to be charged for Sunday’s incident today.
“So much blood. My wife said I should call someone to clean all the blood but I’m going to clean it up myself. It’s the least I can do for that poor girl,” said the building owner of Lee’s apartment, according to the New York Post.
Lee’s killing took place barely a month after Michelle Go was shoved into the path of an oncoming subway train in Manhattan. Since the onset of COVID-19, New York City has led the country in cases of violence against Asian Americans. “It’s been two long years, and especially with the last couple of months with Omicron we’ve seen yet another spike in anti-Asian hate. Now, maybe this is a hate crime. Maybe this is not a hate crime. But it’s yet another Asian woman. Another Asian American was brutally attacked and killed in her own home. Think about that,” State Sen. John Liu said, according to amNewYork.
“So when the Asian American community is upset, and frustrated and downright angry, you know where it’s coming from. People do not feel safe, and part of this is that government at all levels need to pay more attention.”
Lee, who is Korean American, graduated from Rutgers University and served as a senior creative producer at digital music platform Splice, per The New York Times. She also worked on media campaigns for companies such as Equinox and Marriott International. “The NYPD is investigating this horrific incident, and I thank them for apprehending the suspect,” Adams said, according to PIX 11. “While the suspect who committed this heinous act is now in custody, the conditions that created him remain. The mission of this administration is clear: We won’t let this violence go unchecked.”
Nash was also stabbed in the incident and taken to Bellevue hospital. As of this writing, it remains unclear whether the case will be investigated as a hate crime.
Featured Image via New York Police Department (left) and LinkedIn (right)