Homeless Man Sucker-Punches Chinese Woman on Bayard Street
Monday was a warm afternoon in Chinatown and the streets were crowded (for a change) with people enjoying a meal out on Bayard Street. That’s when a random attack on a 55-year-old Chinese woman shattered the calm.
The vicious attack, caught on surveillance video outside the Kong Sikh Tong restaurant at 65 Bayard, showed the woman minding her business as she walked westbound. The assailant then clocks the victim in the face, sending her backward to the ground. Bystanders are seen rushing to her aid.
According to witnesses we spoke to, the assailant had walked towards the Bowery, where he was arrested by officers of the 5th Precinct. Police later identified the attacker as a 48-year-old Alexander Wright, a homeless man residing in an area shelter. He was charged with assault as a hate crime and currently undergoing mental evaluation at Bellevue Hospital.
Chinatown is no stranger to homeless wandering the streets, with many acting irrationally. Sometimes, dangerously so. Yet police are powerless to act unless there is a physical attack, leaving locals uneasy.
The random attacks on people of all ethnicities are mounting, while the lame-duck mayor continues to fail in addressing the mental health crisis in the city. Simply hiding them in hotel rooms will not solve the problem.