Actress Olivia Munn was delighted when she heard the authorities finally found the man who attacked her friend’s mother in New York City after asking the public for help last week.
Munn spoke to NBC News’ Vicky Nguyen to share what happened when her ask for help later turned into the arrest of the 47-year-old man identified as Patrick Mateo, according to TODAY
“It was a really emotional day,” she said after finding out the New York Police Department arrested Mateo. “To wake up that morning and see that overnight the people had come up and stepped up for us and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to help you find this guy,’ and they actually found him … I felt that our people were seen.”
Munn shared two photos of Mateo taken by witnesses of the assault in Queens, New York, when the man hurled racial slurs at the 52-year-old female victim and violently shoving her to the ground on Feb. 17
The actress said she messaged the NYPD on social media to let them know about the attack. On Feb. 18, authorities were able to arrest Mateo
and charged him with assault and harassment.
“When you speak up, people do care,” she said, adding that she was moved by “all the goodness in the world,” referring to the replies she received in her post.
Munn also commended the NYPD for buying the woman egg tarts, explaining that she was on her way to the bakery to buy one before she got attacked.
“They went and brought Sam’s mom egg tarts because she was in line at the bakery to get egg tarts, and she wasn’t able to get them,” the actress said. “The NYPD didn’t have to do that. There’s so many people with such good hearts. And so if you can learn to not be afraid and not to just bury your own pain, you’ll see that there are so many people in our world who want to help us.”
Speaking up about the matter will also help stop the rising cases of anti-Asian attacks, Munn said.
“By speaking up, by doing this, it’s going to stop other people from doing it to more of our elders, to more people in our community. It’s not enough just for you to take it on the chin. You have to speak up so that it helps everyone else.”
Munn took to her Instagram
on Feb. 11 to ask for help in stopping the growing violence against Asians amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NYPD released Mateo
from custody a day after his arrest. Authorities said his release is “under supervision” and did not give any more details. They also said the attack was not considered a hate crime even though the victim’s daughter, Maggie Cheng, stated he hurled racial slurs at the woman before attacking her.