Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
An Asian father of two who was repeatedly kicked in the head during a hate crime attack, leaving him in a coma, has died eight months after the brutal beating by a homeless career criminal in crime-plagued NYC, the NYPD said.
Yao Pan Ma, 61, died on December 31 after the April assault by Jarrod Powell, 49 - who has been arrested 15 times since 1988, the NYPD said.
The Big Apple reported nearly 474 hate crimes through November of last year - a 96 percent increase from 2020 during the same time frame when there were 242 such attacks.
Clairo Rates Hilary Duff, Criss Angel, and Peppa Pig
Out of the 474 hate crimes, 127 attacks were against Asians - a nearly five-fold increase from the 28 attacks against Asians in 2020.
Ma was collecting cans in April 2021 in East Harlem when Jarrod Powell, 49, attacked him and stomped on his head at least six times, leaving Ma in a coma
His death has been ruled a homicide.
Powell was taken into custody at Ward's Island men's homeless shelter just days after the attack in April and was initially charged with second-degree murder and two counts of assault.
He was arrested after another resident at the shelter recognized him.
His charges have not been upgraded with the homicide charge, police said.
He is due back in court on February 10.
Ma, a Chinese immigrant, was left in critical condition and placed in a medically induced coma after his head was stomped at least six times while he was collecting cans.
'When I saw him in the hospital…his face, I cried. I still cry,' his wife Baozhen Chen said in April. 'I hope he wakes up and talks to me and gets better and comes home. It's really hard to believe.'
Police sources also said at the time that Ma suffered a cerebral contusion and facial fractures. Photo of his battered face showed him hooked up to medical gear in the hospital.
Ruth Howell, 64, Ma's neighbor, described the couple as 'two peas in a pod.'
'It is so sad. They were like two peas in a pod. They were always together,' Howell told the New York Post on Friday.
Powell has been arrested 15 times since 1988 and called the footage of the attack 'a whole lot of bulls**t' and he claimed Ma attacked him first