The victim in a violent and widely publicized attack last week at a New York City subway station is Asian. But police haven’t said if the incident, which was caught on video, qualifies as a hate crime.
The victim has been identified as 22-year-old Wen Ruan and is believed to be Chinese. Wen says he didn’t know his assailant and was attacked without warning.
The savage nature of the unprovoked attack during the evening rush hour on February 27 drew nationwide attention. The video shows a well-dressed Hispanic male in a suit and tie, since identified by police as 24-year-old Jose Hasing, walking up behind Wen at the 42nd Street subway station in Times Square. Hasing then punches Wen repeatedly in the head and kicks him as he cowers on the ground.
Hasing, who appears about six-feet-tall and 240 pounds, then calmly walks away leaving his much smaller victim slumped on the platform. Hasing, who police say is nicknamed “Golden Boy,” is said to have a criminal record and is still at large.
Witnesses said Hasing was angered because the victim “gave him a funny look.”
“I think, regardless, he’s a crazy guy. I cast a glance at him and he must have taken that the wrong way,” Ruan was quoted by NextShark, a global online publication for Asians, as saying.
“Everyone just was watching,” Ruan added. “I feel like I understand why no one jumped in. He was a very big guy. He had like a whole head over me. Everyone around me was just trying to get out of the way.”
Ruan was treated by emergency medical workers for bruises, facial swelling, and two chipped teeth.