Maricia Bell, 25, has been accused of assaulting three Asian women aged 75, 63 and 34 along with a 23-year-old Asian man
A woman has been arrested for an alleged hate-driven, anti-Asian series of attacks that injured four people over the course of several months in Queens, New York.
Maricia Bell, 25, has been accused of assaulting three women aged 75, 63 and 34 along with a 23-year-old man.
The four incidents were all separate and began on May 23, but Bell saw her victims hit or even use a metal tool as part of the alleged attack.
During the first attack, Bell is said to have yelled at her victim, “Why are you talking to me?” before hitting the man in a parking lot in Vlissingen.
A similar attack was then perpetrated against a 34-year-old woman at a bodega in Pomonok on June 16.
The following month, on July 11, she is accused of punching a 63-year-old woman in the face as the victim walked near 72nd Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, also in Pomonok.
The latest incident happened early Wednesday morning, about a block from where she allegedly hit a 75-year-old woman with a hammer.
Bell has been charged with a number of hate crimes, along with assault, harassment and theft, according to police.
Bell has had five previous arrests, including one from March for which she was charged with assault as a hate crime according to the New York Post.
71-43 Kissena Blvd. in Pomonok/Vlissingen, Queens. On March 23, at 8:55 a.m., at Kissena Blvd 71-43, the suspect, allegedly Maricia Bell, looked at the victim and asked, “Why are you looking at me?” and then punched the 23-year-old Asian man in the face, causing minor scratches
72nd Avenue and Parsons Blvd in Pomonok/ Fresh Meadows, Queens. On July 11 at 10 p.m., on the corner of 72nd Avenue and Parsons Blvd, the suspect, allegedly Maricia Bell, approached a 73-year-old Asian woman in a parking lot and punched her on the cheek.
SUSPECTED ANTI-ASIAN ATTACKS
- On March 23 at 8:55 a.m., at Kissena Blvd 71-43, the suspect looked at the victim and asked, “Why are you looking at me?” and then punched the 23-year-old Asian man in the face, causing minor scratches.
- On June 16 at 6:14 PM, the suspect approached a 34-year-old Asian woman at a supermarket at 70-63 Parsons Blvd and asked her, “Why are you looking at me?” then hit her on the back of the head with a closed fist.
- On July 11 at 10 p.m., on the corner of 72nd Avenue and Parsons Blvd, the suspect approached a 73-year-old Asian woman in a parking lot and punched her in the cheek, causing pain and swelling.
- At 7:30 a.m. on July 21, the suspect approached a 75-year-old Asian woman who was collecting cans from behind and hit her in the back of the head with an unknown object.
The alleged attacks are just one of many targeting Asians across the city, with nearly 100 anti-Asian hate crimes reported to authorities this year, with at least 260 since the start of the pandemic, according to the NYPD.
Activists and police officials say many additional incidents were not classified as hate crimes or were not reported.
In December 2020, an Asian Hate Crime Task Force was established within the NYPD to encourage victims to report the attacks.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said last month the city was working to improve communication with community leaders, create a website to help people report and respond to attacks, and focus subway patrols on possible biased crimes.
“If you dare to raise your hand against a member of our Asian communities, you will suffer the consequences,” he said.
Anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in 15 of America’s largest cities and counties rose 169%, from 32 to 86, in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020
Across the country, anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in 15 of America’s largest cities and counties rose 169% in Q1 2021, from 32 to 86, compared to Q1 2020 , according to an analysis of official preliminary data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism (CSHE) at California State University, San Bernardino.
For example, Asians make up 35% of San Francisco’s population. In the first quarter of 2020, the number of reported hate crimes went from five to 12, an increase of 169%.
Similarly, 14.5% of New Yorkers are Asian. The number of reports submitted increased from 13 to 42, resulting in a total of 223%.
At least 11.6% Angelenos in Greater Los Angeles Area are Asians. The number of cases has increased from five to nine, which is an increase of about 80%. In Boston, Asians make up about 9.7% of Bostonians. Their number of reported crimes has also increased from five to eight, which is about 60%.
Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” and has been accused of fomenting hatred towards Asian-American people.
People join protest to demand an end to anti-Asian violence in New York in April
The protest, which numbered nearly 3,000 and included activists, residents and local politicians, marches across the Brooklyn Bridge after a surge in hate crimes against Asians
Brandon Elliot kicked Vilma Kari to the ground and punched her repeatedly after he made racist remarks to her in Manhattan. He was on parole for the murder of his own mother at the time
In March, Vilma Kari was walking to church in Manhattan when Brandon Elliot, 38, approached her, knocked her to the ground and kicked her repeatedly.
Elliot kicked her to the ground and punched her repeatedly after making racist remarks. He was on parole for the murder of his own mother at the time.
In another incident the same month in San Francisco, Xiao Zhen Xie said she was standing at a traffic crossing on Market Street on Wednesday when a man punched her in the face.
The 76-year-old grabbed a stick to defend himself and began beating the man. She then jumped back at him as he was taken away on a stretcher.
In May, an Asian father was struck in the head 14 times in an unprovoked attack while pushing his toddler’s stroller through San Francisco in broad daylight.
The 36-year-old father, who identified himself as the only “Bruce,” was walking his baby in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco Friday afternoon when a man came up to him and punched him from behind.
Surveillance footage showed him being knocked to the ground blocking the 14 blows to his head and back as his son’s pram slowly rolls away. When his attacker retreats, he sees the father running protectively towards his son’s pram while pedestrians and customers look on in shock.