A Queens, New York City Council member was attacked while walking home on April 9, PIX 11 reported.
Peter Koo, D-Queens, was “assaulted and mugged by three attackers in the lobby of his building,” his staff wrote in a Facebook post. “As he entered the lobby from the street, one assailant struck him from behind in the side of his head. Words were exchanged, and CM Koo took out his phone to call 911.”
Woo told police that the three unidentified men had followed him, demanding money. When he refused, the men told him they had a firearm and attempted to take his phone. Woo refused again, and the men fled.
PIX reported that a 16-year-old was taken into custody, then charged with robbery and assault, though another outlet says two of the assailants were caught after they robbed someone several blocks away.
The lawmaker described it as a “frightening encounter.”
“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 said to QNS.com.
The New York attorney general has recently set up a hotline for Asian Americans to report hate crimes, with its governor, Andrew Cuomo, demanding an investigation of an attack against an Asian student — one of many coronavirus-centered hate crimes in New York. Crimes recorded run the gauntlet of harassment on the subway to physical attacks.
There have been over 750 reports of Asian American bias and hate crimes across the country since March 27, according to a FBI report.
Koo praised police for their “swift action” after contacting them with his attackers’ descriptions and the direction in which they were heading.
“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,” Koo said.
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