A Flushing man who violently shoved a 52-year-old Asian woman to the ground and sent her to the hospital on Tuesday, Feb. 16, has been arrested and charged with assault and harassment, according to the 109th Precinct.
Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison commended the 109th Precinct Detective Squad for quickly identifying and apprehending Patrick Mateo, 47, who allegedly engaged in a verbal dispute with the woman Tuesday afternoon outside of a Flushing bakery at 135-45 Roosevelt Ave.
🚨APPREHENDED🚨 Thanks to numerous tips from the community, the suspect in the violent assault of an elderly female on Roosevelt Avenue has been arrested. A prime example of the Community & the Police working together for a safer New York City. #YourCityYourCall pic.twitter.com/qtlVwCS7uS
— NYPD 109th Precinct (@NYPD109Pct) February 18, 2021
Police were seeking the public’s help in identifying Mateo, who he pushed the woman onto the ground, causing her to hit her head against an object, according to police.
The woman, police say, sustained minor injuries and was transported by EMS to Booth Memorial Hospital in stable condition. Following the incident, Mateo had fled the location in an unknown direction, police said.
Meanwhile, the victim’s daughter, Maggie Cheng, took to social media on Tuesday, posting an image of Mateo and a description of the attack on Twitter and Instagram.
“Hate crime has no place in our community. Please repost and HMU if you know who this is,” Cheng wrote.
This asshole shoved my mom on Main Street and Roosevelt today which resulted my mom in receiving 5-10 stitches on her head. Hate crime has no place in our community. Please repost and HMU if you know who this is. pic.twitter.com/7L7hADUTp5
— Maggie 🔆 (@mcheng328) February 17, 2021
Later, Chen posted a surveillance video of the incident and asked for the public’s help in identifying the attacker.
“I am literally heartbroken. Look at this surveillance video of this guy attacking my mom,” Cheng wrote. “Like why bro? She’s vulnerable and aging. Why?!”
— Maggie 🔆 (@mcheng328) February 17, 2021
According to Chen, her mother had received five to 10 stitches on her head and is doing well.
Chen’s friend, actress Olivia Munn, had also called for justice as she shared the image on Twitter, hoping to track down Mateo.
“My friend’s mom is a 5’3” 50+ Chinese woman and she was attacked by this guy in Flushing, NY yesterday on Main St and Roosevelt between 2-4pm. She left the hospital with 10 stitches in her head. We’re gonna find this guy. Queens, Internet, please… do your shit,” Munn wrote.
The attack on Cheng’s mother occurred on the same day two other Asian women were attacked in separate incidents in New York.
Hate incidents have increased against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report released by the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). The report, “A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, and Solutions,” revealed that between February and May 2020, the NYC Commission on Human Rights received reports of 389 coronavirus-related hate incidents. Of those, 145 complaints involved anti-Asian sentiment, representing 37 percent of all complaints received.
The rise of anti-Asian attacks has prompted local elected officials, such as Congresswoman Grace Meng and Councilman Peter Koo, to denounce the crimes. Both lawmakers had shared the 109th Precinct’s images and video of the incident.
“We’ve seen attacks against Asians on the rise in NYC and across the country. These latest trends are indeed disturbing. We must speak out and come together to stop the senseless hate,” Koo wrote on Twitter.
We've seen attacks against Asians on the rise in NYC and across the country. These latest trends are indeed disturbing. We must speak out and come together to stop the senseless hate. https://t.co/CziUXnCMBB
— Peter Koo (@CMPeterKoo) February 17, 2021
Meng contacted Cheng’s family and is asking the public to pray for the mother’s “quick-healing physically and mentally and for real accountability.”
“I’ve spoken with her family. They’re asking the public to respect their privacy,” Meng wrote on Twitter.
Update: I’ve spoken with her family. They’re asking public to respect their privacy. Let’s pray for her quick healing- physically & mentally & for real accountability. Assault took place on Roosevelt Avenue, on 2/16/21. Call or DM @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. All 📞 are anonymous https://t.co/aOSKst1Ivh
— Grace Meng (@Grace4NY) February 18, 2021