NEW YORK — An Asian man died eight months after another man brutally beat him in an alleged hate-crime attack in East Harlem, the NYPD said Saturday.
Yao Pan Ma, 61, of East Harlem, was collecting cans near East 125th Street and Third Avenue last April 23 when Jarrod Powell, 49, allegedly knocked him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head, police said.
Family members said the attack left Ma in a coma. Ma succumbed to his injuries on New Year’s Eve, the NYPD said. Powell was arrested and charged with two counts of hate-crime assault and one count of attempted murder on April 27, according to police.
“Now that he has passed, we need to raise our voices and make sure that Powell pays for his crime," said Ma family spokesperson Karlin Chan. "He needs to serve time. He needs to pay for what he did to Mr. Ma. Basically he murdered him!”
Police on Saturday said the attack would now be considered a homicide, but it wasn’t immediately clear when the charges against Powell would be upgraded.
Powell’s attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The attack came as New York City and other cities across the country experienced a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes. The NYPD last March said there had been at least six attacks on Asian Americans in the prior two months, up from zero during the same time in 2020.
Throughout 2020, New York City saw 28 attacks classified as anti-Asian hate crimes, up from three in 2019.
More than 200 people marched in upper Manhattan just days after Ma was attacked to denounce the rise in anti-Asian violence.