Ns News Online Desk: Police are searching for a panhandler who allegedly threatened to kill an Asian strap hanger during a robbery attempt that’s being investigated by cops as a hate crime, authorities said.
The panhandler approached the 24-year-old victim Wednesday at around 4:30 p.m. on a northbound subway train approaching the Herald Square stop at West 34th Street and the Avenue of the Americas and asked: “You are Chinese, aren’t you?” according to cops, who released a photo of the suspect late Friday. The panhandler then allegedly threatened the victim’s life and tried to snatch his cellphone and bag, according to police.
The panhandler stayed on the train — either a B or D, according to police who said the victim was too shaken to remember which after getting off at Herald Square. The victim, who didn’t give up his belongings, declined medical attention, police said.
Meanwhile, on May 18, a 40-year-old Asian man was attacked in Hell’s Kitchen — another possible hate crime amid a surge in anti-Asian violence in the city.
In that instance, the victim was pummeled multiple times around 9:50 a.m. at West 43rd Street and 11th Avenue by an unknown assailant, police sources said. “Go back to your country!” the attacker yelled as he punched the victim, sources said.
Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).