A mother who suffered severe brain damage after being dragged down the stairs by a robber at a Manhattan subway station may never wake up, her son said.
Than Htwe, 58, and her son, Kyaw Zaw Hein, 22, were walking up the stairs at Canal Street station around 10:45 a.m. Saturday when an assailant attacked them from behind and grabbed the son’s backpack.
Hein was not seriously injured, but his mother hit her head and was seriously injured.
They were rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Saturday morning, where Htwe underwent brain surgery and is in critical condition.
But Hein says doctors have now told him that his mother “can’t wake up anymore.”
“The doctors told us that the trauma to her head is so severe that she can’t wake up,” Hein wrote in a heartbreaking statement. GoFundMe Message.
“Eventually all her organs will shut down. We just wait and worry about what happens next.”
Than Hein (left) 58 and her son Kyaw Zaw Hein 22 were rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Saturday morning, where Htwe underwent brain surgery.
Htwe and Hein were climbing a flight of stairs in the Canal St. Subway Station in Chinatown at about 10:45 a.m. Saturday, when out of nowhere a robber crawled after the two and tried to steal Hein’s backpack.
The pair were attacked in the Chinatown area of New York City at 10:45 a.m. Saturday morning.
When the robber yanked on Hein’s backpack, he tumbled back. As he began to fall, he reached for his mother, who stumbled down with him.
Both were knocked unconscious during the fall, and when Hein woke up, he said his mother was “all over the floor with blood,” according to the GoFundMe post.
She had surgery in hospital for her head injury but is still in a coma, her family said.
Htwe moved to New York from Myanmar in 2018 to be closer to Hein and their extended family.
“After hearing this about a mother who was kind-hearted and respectful. Who was willing to move to a new country to give her only child a better life makes us really sad,” the GoFundMe statement reads. “We are all heartbroken and shocked by how events have unfolded.”
Police are looking for information about the attacker. They are also investigating whether the attack was racially motivated.
Shortly after the incident, police released a photo of the suspect and asked anyone who recognizes him to call the police. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All conversations are treated confidentially.
Shortly after the incident, police released a photo of the suspect (pictured) and anyone who recognizes him is asked to call police.
So far, Hein and his father, Myint Shein, have raised $5,173 on their GoFundMe page. According to the post, all donations will go to Htwe’s husband.
“I want to say to everyone reading this that you should always cherish the moments you have with your mother,” the message read. “Tell her ‘I love you’ or give her a hug and kiss because you never know what’s going to happen.”
Calls to Hein and his family from DailyMail.com went unanswered.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise, with unprovoked attacks in the United States.
The number of incidents against Asian Americans reported to the New York Police Department has risen from three in 2019 to 28 in 2020.
Activists and police officials say many additional incidents were not classified as hate crimes or were not reported.
Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative that tracks violence and harassment against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, recorded more than 3,000 reported incidents since the start of the pandemic, said Russell Jeung, one of the group’s leaders and chair of Asian American Studies. Department at San Francisco State University.
Of those, at least 260 were in New York City.
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.
In early May 2021, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio told radio host Brian Lehrer that the MTA leadership was “terrifying” when they warned that the NYC subway is becoming unsafe.
Later that month, NYPD transit police chief Kathleen O’Reilly told an MTA board meeting that ‘crime remains low so far… down 46.8%.’
However, these statistics do not take into account the reality that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger numbers are lower than normal.
Between January 2020 and May this year, 10 people lost their lives to homicides while driving on New York City’s subway system, according to a new analysis from the New York Times.
The average homicide rate in the subways has been one to two a year since the late 1990s. New York has seen five years of homicides in just over a year.