HomeFilipino AmericanVictim speaks out in attack in Queens. 2 arrested in hate crime

Victim speaks out in attack in Queens. 2 arrested in hate crime

A Filipino American mother is speaking out after an attack on her and her son that has led to two people being arrested.

ABC7 News reports that Cecille Lai broke out in tears after being informed that New York City police had taken two of the three suspected attackers into custody.

Lai said she and her son Kyle were getting out of a car when another car behind them began honking aggressively despite the light being red.

“They were saying, ‘ugly Asians,’ then next words were ‘(expletive) ugly Asians,'” Cecille Lai said to ABC7. “Try to scream at us and taunt at us. Kept saying ugly Asians.”

The suspects got out of their vehicle and began kicking and punching Cecille and Kyle.

“I was knocked out unconscious for a little bit. When I came back with my senses, when I woke up, I was worried about my son. I looked at the side and I saw my son was being punched,” Cecille said to GMA.

CBS NY reports police released images of the three suspects. On Monday night, they announced the arrest of 18-year-old Natalie Plaza of Queens and 21-year-old Elijah Fernandez of Queens.

Cecille says the suspects also tried to run her over with their car as they escaped in their SUV.

The arrests come as the number of reported anti-Asian hate crimes is down. Three have been reported in New York City this year compared to 14 during the same period last year.

Support for both Cecille and Kyle has poured in with Rep Grace Meng(D-NY) and several state senators and assemblymembers issuing a joint statement of support.

“We stand in solidarity with Cecille and her family during difficult time,” the group said, reported GMA. “We remain firmly committed to combating hate and bigotry in all its form and ensuring that everyone is our community is treated with respect, dignity, and kindness.”

The Philippine Consulate also issued a statement.

“We call on local authorities to expeditiously resolve this case to prevent any future incidence from occurring.”

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


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