Maricia Bell, 25, has been accused of attacking 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 assaults that left four people injured over the course of several months in Queens, New York.
Maricia Bell, 25, has been accused of attacking 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 saw Bell punch her victims or even use a metal tool as part of the alleged attack.
During the first assault, Bell is alleged to have yelled at her victim, ‘Why are you talking to me?’ before punching the man in a parking lot in Flushing.
A similar assault was then committed against a 34-year-old woman inside a bodega in Pomonok on June 16.
The following month, on July 11, she is accused of hitting a 63-year-old woman in the face while the victim was walking near 72nd Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, also in in Pomonok.
The latest incident happened early on Wednesday morning about a block away from where she is alleged to have hit a 75-year-old woman with a hammer.
Bell has been charged with a number of hate crimes together with assault, harassment and robbery, according to police.
Bell has five prior 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/Flushing, Queens. On March 23, at 8:55am, at 71-43 Kissena Blvd, the suspect, allegedly Maricia Bell, looked at the victim, 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 10pm., at 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 in the cheek
ALLEGED ANTI-ASIAN ASSAULTS
- On March 23, at 8:55am, at 71-43 Kissena Blvd, the suspect looked at the victim, 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 6:14pm, inside a grocery store located at 70-63 Parsons Blvd, the suspect approached a 34-year-old Asian woman, asked her, ‘why are you looking at me?’ then punched her in the back of the head with a closed fist.
- On July 11, at 10pm, at 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.
- On July 21, at 7:30am, the suspect approached a 75-year-old Asian woman collecting cans from behind, and struck her in the back of the head with an unknown object.
The alleged assaults are just one of many that have targeted Asians citywide, with close to 100 anti-Asian hate crimes being reported to authorities this year, according to the NYPD with at least 260 since the start of the pandemic.
Activists and police officials say many additional incidents were not classified as hate crimes or went unreported.
In December 2020 an Asian Hate Crime Task Force was formed within the NYPD, to encourage victims to report the attacks.
Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, said last month that the city was working to increase communication with community leaders, creating a website to help people report and respond to attacks, and focusing subway patrols on possible bias 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 crime reported to police in 15 of America’s largest cities and counties, rose 169%, from 32 to 86, in the first quarter of 2021 in comparison to the first quarter of 2020
Across the nation, Anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in 15 of America’s largest cities and counties, rose 169%, from 32 to 86, in the first quarter of 2021 in comparison to the first quarter of 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 instance, Asians form 35% of San Francisco’s population. In the first quarter of 2020, the number of reported hate crimes went from five to 12 which is an increase of 169%.
Similarly, 14.5% of New Yorkers are Asian. The number of filed reports went up from 13 to 42 which leads to a total of 223%.
At least 11.6% Angelenos in Greater Los Angeles Area are Asians. The number of cases has gone up from five to nine which is about 80% increase. In Boston, Asians form about 9.7% of Bostonians. Their number of reported crimes has also gone up from five to eight which is about 60%.
Former President Donald Trump repeatedly called COVID-19 the ‘Chinese virus,’ and was accused of stoking hatred towards Asian-American people.
People participate in a protest to demand an end to anti-Asian violence in April in New York
The protest which numbered close to 3000 and was made up of activists, residents and local politicians, march across the Brooklyn Bridge after a rise in hate crimes against Asians
Brandon Elliot kicked Vilma Kari to the ground and hit her repeatedly after yelling a racial slur at her in Manhattan. He was out on parole for murdering his own mother at the time
In March, Vilma Kari was walking to church in midtown Manhattan when Brandon Elliot, 38, approached her, knocked her to the ground and kicked her repeatedly.
Elliot kicked her to the ground and hit her repeatedly after yelling a racial slur. He was out on parole for murdering his own mother at the time.
In another incident in 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 herself and began beating the man. She then lunged at him again while he was being taken away on a stretcher.
In May, an Asian dad was punched 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 only ‘Bruce’, was walking his baby in Mission bay neighborhood of San Francisco on Friday afternoon when a man came up to him and punched him from behind.
He was seen on surveillance footage getting knocked to the ground and blocking the 14 blows to his head and back as his son’s stroller slowly rolls away. When his attacker backs off, the father is seen protectively running to his son’s stroller while pedestrians and customers look on in shock.