New York Asian Man Allegedly Targeted in Racist Attack Days After AG Launches Coronavirus Hate Crime Hotline

Police in New York are investigating yet another alleged incident of an Asian person in the city being targeted in a hate crime attack as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to reports, a 26-year-old Asian male was waiting at the Atlantic Ave./Barclays Center subway station in Brooklyn when he was approached by the suspect on Wednesday, March 25.

The man allegedly spat on the victim and yelled: "You f*****g Chinese, spreading the coronavirus. You people got the virus."

The suspect then mimicked having a gun inside his jacket pocket to threaten him, reported the New York Daily News.

The suspect, identified by the New York Postas 19-year-old Nicholas Theodore, was later arrested and charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime and menacing.

The attack is one of a number of incidents in which Asian people have been targeted or harassed in New York during the COVID-19 outbreak, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

Earlier this month, the New York Police Department investigated two assaults against Asian people on the same day in which the coronavirus was believed to have been a factor.

In February, an Asian woman wearing a protective mask was also kicked and punched by a man at a Manhattan subway station in a suspected hate crime attack.

The rise in the number of attacks prompted New York Attorney General Letitia James to set up a dedicated hotline for hate crimes and racially-biased based incidents.

Officials also condemned President Donald Trump and other political figures for referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus" or "Wuhan virus" for helping to create a stigma around Asian communities and fuelling these attacks.

"As we face an unprecedented and uncertain time for New York, the United States, and the world, we must reiterate the fact that this pandemic does not give anyone an excuse to be racist, xenophobic, or biased," James said.

"No one should live in fear for their life because of who they are, what they look like, or where they come from. I encourage all victims of discriminatory actions stemming from this pandemic to contact my office. We will continue to work with local law enforcement to combat hate in all its insidious forms."

Letitia announced the launch of the hotline on March 23, two days before the incident at the Brooklyn subway station.

New york
(File photo) People wear medical face masks on the streets of Chinatown on January 29, 2020 in New York City. An Asian man waiting for the subway in Brooklyn was spat on in a suspected coronavirus-related hate crime attack. Spencer Platt/Getty

"During this public health crisis, people are fighting for their lives—fighting to keep their families safe. Yet these incessant, irresponsible, and atrocious naming of COVID-19 as the 'Chinese virus' or 'Wuhan virus' is endangering the lives of Asian Americans," added New York Rep. Grace Meng.

"I have repeatedly called on public officials—from the President to the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives—to abstain from using derogatory language that demonizes Asian Americans. This must stop."

Those experiencing hate crimes and bias incidents are being asked to report them by emailing the Attorney General's Civil Rights Bureau at, or calling 1-800-771-7755.

There are more than 69,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., the third highest in the world according to Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 1,050 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S., with 619 patients recovering from the virus.

This infographic, provided by Statista, shows the sharp rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York state compared to Washington and California.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York, Washington,California

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Hygiene advice:

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

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