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Man arrested for the violent hate-crime beating of an Asian woman in N.Y., police say

A screen grab from the surveillance video that recorded an attack on a woman of Asian descent in Yonkers, N.Y., on March 11. The 42-year-old male suspect has been charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of assault as a hate crime.
Yonkers Police Department
A screen grab from the surveillance video that recorded an attack on a woman of Asian descent in Yonkers, N.Y., on March 11. The 42-year-old male suspect has been charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of assault as a hate crime.

A New York man was arrested and charged with attempted murder after police say he violently punched a woman of Asian descent more than 125 times and allegedly used a racial slur against her, according to the Yonkers Police Department.

The victim, a 67-year-old woman of Asian descent who was not identified by authorities, was returning to her apartment last Friday when she saw the suspect — later identified as 42-year-old Tammel Esco — in front of her building.

As the victim walked past Esco, he called her an "Asian b****," police said in a news release.

In a surveillance video released by the Yonkers Police Department, the video captures the victim ignoring Esco as she enters the vestibule of her apartment building.

As she attempted to open a second door to enter the lobby, Esco allegedly approached the woman from behind and began punching her in the head, ultimately knocking her to the floor, according to police.

Esco is shown on video punching the woman in the face and head more than 125 times before he stomps her with his foot seven times. Police say he then spat on her.

The woman suffered multiple injuries and lacerations to her head and face, according to police. She was taken to a trauma center and is listed in stable condition. Yonkers police responded to the scene shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, finding Esco outside the apartment building and later taking him into custody.

Esco was arraigned in Yonkers City Court on Saturday, and he remains in custody at the Westchester County, N.Y., jail. He is charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of assault as a hate crime.

Esco is scheduled to appear in court on March 25.

"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," said Yonkers Police Commissioner John J. Mueller in a statement.

"Violent behavior will not be tolerated in our communities," he added.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said in the news release that hate crimes in the city are "beyond intolerable" and he expects Esco to be charged for his "heinous actions."

"I applaud our Yonkers Police for swiftly apprehending this violent criminal and removing him from our streets. I continue to keep the victim and her family in our thoughts and prayers," Spano said.

Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks incidents of discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., found that a majority of the incidents reported between March 2020 and March 2021 targeted women.

From March 2020 to December 2021, close to 11,000 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals were reported to Stop AAPI Hate.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.