Queens city council member Peter Koo revealed he was the victim of an assault and mugging on his way home on Thursday April 9 in a disturbing Facebook post.
Koo, who is 67, was returning to his home in downtown Flushing when three masked individuals followed him into the lobby of his building and struck him on the side of the head from behind. They demanded money and threatened him by saying they had a firearm. As he scrambled to call 911, the attackers tried to take his phone, but Koo continued to fight and the would-be muggers ran off.
After reporting the attack and description of the individuals to local police, NYPD officers of the 109th precinct caught two of the individuals only blocks away after they had robbed another person. The attackers were all reported to be teenagers, Flushing Post reports. According to PIX11, Koo’s staff later reported all three men were taken into custody. Police reported that at least two were charged with robbery and assault.
In a statement on the Facebook post, Koo thanked local law enforcement and noted that he does not believe the attack was racially motivated despite the “significant uptick in racist attacks since the outbreak of COVID-19.”
“I’d like to offer my sincerest gratitude to the 109th Police Precinct for their swift action in apprehending two of my attackers last night. While it was a frightening encounter, I maintained my composure to the best of my ability and contacted police immediately with the descriptions and the direction they were heading. For this reason, authorities were able to track them down in short time. I remind our community that during these uncertain times, we must all continue to stay aware of our surroundings and take precautions against those who are looking to take advantage of our incapacitated society. While I do not believe this attack was racially motivated, Asian communities in New York City have experienced a significant uptick in racist attacks since the outbreak of COVID-19, and it is important that our law enforcement continues to receive support so that they have the resources they need to protect our communities.”
Koo, who is Chinese American, born in China and raised in Hong Kong, is a council member for the 20th district of the New York City Council. He has served in office since 2010.