The NYPD released photos of a man who broke an Asian woman’s cellphone and hurled racist remarks related to COVID-19 towards her in Queens.
The incident occurred in the vicinity of Wetherole Street and 66th Avenue in Rego Park on April 26 at 11:45 a.m., according to AM New York.
The pictured individual is wanted by the Hate Crimes Task force in regards to a Criminal Mischief that occurred on 4/26/20 near Wetherole Street and 66 Avenue. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-577-TIP or @NYPDTips pic.twitter.com/iA2iBr9Ha4
— NYPD 112th Precinct (@NYPD112Pct) April 27, 2020
The victim told the New York Daily News she was walking with her wife from the grocery when the attack happened. The woman, whose name has been withheld, saw the man walking alongside another woman — both of them were not wearing masks.
“We stepped aside for [them] to pass because it was a very narrow walkway,” the woman said. “I think he took offense at that. He started screaming racist insults.”
“Are you serious?” the man reportedly shouted. “You stupid b—h c–t. You’re the ones that brought the virus here!”
While practicing social distancing, the victim fronted the man 10 feet away and asked the man what his problem was. The suspect then approached the couple and started to take out all of the items from their carts.
The woman began to take pictures of the man on her phone, but he immediately lunged at her and knocked the phone from her hand, continuously smashing it on the sidewalk.
The man reportedly ran west on Wetherole Street after the confrontation.
“We’ve seen it on the news, but we never thought it would happen to us,” the victim said. “I felt helpless, really, like, how can this thing be happening?”
The suspect, who was last seen wearing a white baseball cap, a white hooded sweater, white sweatpants and white sneakers, is described as a white man with a salt and pepper beard and mustache.
Those who may have information can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are strictly confidential.
Feature Image via NYPD