A homeless man charged for sucker-punching a 55-year-old Asian woman in New York City’s Chinatown has a lengthy rap sheet, including multiple arrests for arson and assault in the past year.
The latest: Alexander Wright, 48, was charged with multiple crimes for Monday’s incident, which occurred around 6:15 p.m. on Bayard Street.
Surveillance footage of the attack shows the suspect hitting the victim’s face as they crossed each other’s paths outside Kong Sihk Tong restaurant.
The victim, who was all by herself, hit the ground and blacked out upon impact.
The 48-year-old was charged with felony hate crime assault and misdemeanor assault, as well as criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to NBC New York.
The victim was reportedly taken to Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital and has been recovering at home.
A repeat offender: Wright, who lives in a shelter on Wards Island, has been arrested 40 times in the past, according to New York police.
On May 10, Wright was arrested for allegedly tossing hot coffee at two traffic agents in Midtown, the New York Post reported.
On Friday, he was also arrested for “setting fires,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said, according to CBS New York.
“What are we doing in society when we are releasing these people right back onto the streets?” Shea told NY1, according to the New York Daily News.
The commissioner said lawmakers need to revise bail reform laws, according to FOX 5 NY.
Shea said the “common denominator” in such incidents are people “arrested multiple times and released.” He also acknowledged the possible role of mental illness — the “common denominator” Inspector Tommy Ng, commander of the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force, finds in some anti-Asian attack cases.
Wright was reportedly taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. His arraignment was pending Tuesday.
Featured Image Screenshots via New York Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (left), Karlin Chan (right)
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