An 89-year-old Chinese woman was slapped and set on fire by two masked men in Brooklyn. The incident, caught on a surveillance camera, show that it was an unprovoked attack. The New York Police Department (NYPD) has launched a hunt for the unidentified men.
The elderly woman was out for a walk near her home when the incident which took place near 16th Ave and 77th St on July 14. The surveillance footage revealed that no words were exchanged before the assault took place.
Victim Doesn't Know the Assailants
Speaking to ABC 7NY, the victim, who didn't wish to disclose her name, while speaking in Cantonese through a translator said that she did not know who her assailants were.
Revealing about the incident, the elderly woman said that she had just left her home in Bensonhurst when two men approached her. One of the men slapped her hard on the face and the other torched her shirt on the back. It was minutes after being set on fire that the victim felt a burning sensation on her back.
Upon realizing she was set on fire, the woman quickly pulled up her hair so it wouldn't burn and then rubbed her back against a wall to put out the flames, reported the channel.
The shirt worn by the Chinese woman also shows a large scorch mark on the back. The surveillance video footage also shows the woman leaving her home and returning minutes after being set on fire by the assailants.
Cops on Lookout for Masked Attackers
Calling the incident a hate crime, community leader Don Lee, told the TV channel: "There are a lot of other people who live in this neighborhood but they purposely picked -- two individuals purposely picked on an Asian woman, Asian senior to commit this heinous crime. There's no other reason other than it's a hate crime."
The woman, however, didn't tell her family about the attack and said that attacker didn't try to loot her phone or purse. Daily Mail reported that the surveillance footage released by the cops shows two men, both wearing hats and masks that shield their face, walking near the spot where the attack took place.
Speaking to WLNY, Maria Castellano, a witness to the incident said that there was no interaction before the attack. "I just saw these two kids push her for nothing. She was looking in the garden. No reason at all. I mean, she didn't do nothing," she said.
Board members from the local Brooklyn community center and residents have created a $10,000 reward for any information about the incident that could lead to their arrest.