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Man charged with hate crimes after he was filmed punching Asian woman 125 times in random racist attack

Tammel Esco, 42, has been charged with hate crimes including attempt to murder and assault for the attack

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 15 March 2022 13:10 GMT
Man punches Asian woman 125 times on surveillance video
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A man from Yonkers, New York, has been arrested on hate crime charges for allegedly assaulting a 67-year-old woman of Asian descent by hitting her more than 125 times, stomping on her seven times, spitting on her and calling her an “Asian b****”.

Yonkers police identified 42-year-old suspect Tammel Esco on Monday and charged him with attempt to murder and assault for the attack that was caught on surveillance video.

“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,” Yonkers police commissioner John Mueller said in a statement on Monday.

“This defendant must be held to the maximum punishment allowed by law to send a clear message that hateful, violent behaviour will not be tolerated in our communities,” he added.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family, that she may make a full recovery.”

Police said the incident occurred on Friday evening when the woman passed by Mr Esco on her way home, which was when he allegedly shouted the racial slur at her.

She ignored him and kept walking. CCTV footage released by Yonkers police showed the suspect followed her into her building and attacked her from behind as she tried to unlock a door to the lobby, knocking her down to the floor.

The suspect then proceeded to punch her in the head and face more than 125 times.

Police added that he alternated fist strikes before foot-stomping her seven times and then spitting on her.

In a statement, Westchester county prosecutors said the woman suffered bleeding of the brain, facial fractures and multiple lacerations to the head and face.

“We also understand that many in the community may experience fear and trauma as a result of this incident,” Westchester DA Mimi Rocah said.

“We will continue our work with our community and governments partners throughout the county.”

Prosecutors said that while Mr Esco was first charged with second-degree assault and second-degree attempted murder on Saturday, he was later slapped with a new felony complaint on Monday, elevating both charges to a hate crime.

In a statement, mayor Mike Spano said: “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. 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.”

Mr Esco will appear in court again on 25 March.

Crimes against Asians have seen a spike in the pandemic both in New York and elsewhere across the US.

A national survey by the group “Stop AAPI [Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders] Hate” found more than 10,000 incidents reported in the last two years alone.

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