His name is Yao Pan Ma and he’s a 61-year-old immigrant who had a job at a restaurant prior to the COVID pandemic. Recently he’s been collecting aluminum cans to try to make a little money for his family. Friday night, Ma was brutally beaten on the sidewalk in what appears to be another anti-Asian hate crime.
Mr. Ma was at the corner of 125th Street and Third Avenue around 8 p.m. on Friday when a man dressed in black approached and hit him in the back, the police said. He collapsed onto the sidewalk.
A video released by the Police Department showed Mr. Ma lying unmoving as his attacker stomped on his head with white sneakers and kicked him multiple times in the face before running away. A bus driver who was passing by spotted Mr. Ma unconscious on the ground and called paramedics…
A police spokesman said surveillance camera footage suggested that Mr. Ma and his attacker had not interacted before the assault, leading detectives to believe Mr. Ma may have been targeted because he is Asian.
A local reporter tweeted out images of Ma’s injuries. He is still in a coma and on a ventilator. Below that is a video of part of the attack:
61-year-old Yao Pan Ma fighting for his life. Ma's niece says he immigrated to New York 2 years ago, moved to Harlem after their Chinatown apartment burned down, recently lost his job to COVID. Collecting cans was how he helped support his family. #StopAsianHate https://t.co/s83uNRlkhD pic.twitter.com/tCyMdMtPXp
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) April 25, 2021
Ma’s injuries were so severe that his wife told the NY Post she fears he may not survive:
“I told our children last night,” Baozhen Chen told The Post Sunday after visiting her husband, Yao Pan Ma, 61, at Harlem Hospital.
“They are very concerned about their father,” Chen said in Cantonese through an interpreter. “I am very worried my husband will not make it.”
Chen apologized as she broke down in tears, adding, “I’m very upset.”
Police released stills and video of the suspect in this case but as of today he hasn’t been arrested.
🚨New video from Assault on Fri. April 23rd, approx. 8:20 PM, 3rd Ave & E. 125 St., when a male Asian, 61, was struck, causing him to fall to the ground; he was then kicked multiple times in the head. Info? ☎️Call 1-&00-577-TIPS @NYPDDetectives @NYPD25Pct @125thstreetbid pic.twitter.com/HUEOlhJfgn
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) April 26, 2021
A fund is being set up to help Ma with medical bills. At least four GoFundMe accounts have been created but none were set up or approved by the family.
Regarding donations to the family, they have decided to set up a trust fund through the assistance of @rontkim office. TBD on if GoFundMe accounts will be linked to the trust account or if family will establish their own GoFundMe. More tomorrow. https://t.co/VF9Dr4gQgY
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) April 26, 2021
Finally, since the media was very recently full of stories seeking to connect the increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans to “white supremacy,” it’s worth noting that this attack was probably not prompted by white supremacy.