A man has been arrested and charged with hate crimes in connection with a brutal attack on an elderly Asian American woman in Yonkers, New York, on Friday.
The incident, which was caught on surveillance video, occurred just outside the lobby of the unnamed victim’s apartment building shortly after 6 p.m.
While heading home, the 67-year-old victim passed by 42-year-old Tammel Esco, who allegedly called her an “Asian b*tch.” She ignored him and he followed her into her building, according to police.
Security footage shows Esco catching up to the woman before she enters the lobby. He punches her from behind, causing her to fall to the ground. He then punches her head and face more than 125 times, stomps on her body seven times and spits on her.
TW: Yonkers cops say 67YO Asian woman called “Asian bitch” by suspect then punched 125 times, stomped, spit on Fri night. 42YO Tammel Esco charged with Attempted Murder, Assault as hate crimes. Victim suffered contusions, facial bone fractures, brain bleeding. #StopAsianHate pic.twitter.com/H9KDXVr4NA
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) March 14, 2022
The elderly victim suffered brain bleeding, facial fractures and lacerations to the head and face. Despite her injuries, she was reported to be in stable condition and is reportedly expected to recover.
A witness allegedly intervened and dialed 911 to report the attack. “I started knocking on the door, and when I did that it caught his attention, and that’s when he got off of her,” Yvette Crespo told NBC New York.
Esco was brought into custody at the scene of the crime. He was initially charged with second-degree assault and second-degree attempted murder. On Monday, those charges were elevated to hate crimes.
“Hate crimes are beyond intolerable in our city. I applaud our Yonkers Police for swiftly apprehending this violent criminal and removing him from our streets,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said. “I expect the suspect to be charged to the fullest extent of the law for his heinous actions. I continue to keep the victim and her family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller echoed Spano’s statement: “This is one of the most appalling attacks I have ever seen; to beat a helpless woman is despicable and targeting her because of her race makes it more so. This defendant must be held to the maximum punishment allowed by law to send a clear message that hateful, violent behavior will not be tolerated in our communities.”
Police said Esco has 14 prior arrests, half of which involved felony charges. In 2011, he was convicted of assault, sentenced to more than three years in jail and released after two and a half years on parole.
Esco is currently at Westchester County Jail, where he is being held without bail. He is set to return to court on March 25.
Featured Image via Yonkers Police Department