Alleged reason behind beating of Asian man on NYC subway far cry from what went viral

We’re now hearing from the man who filmed the beating of an Asian man in a New York City subway station, and he is emphatic that the incident was not a hate crime, nor had anything at all to do with the recent bout of anti-Asian crimes that have wracked the city.

The witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told the New York Post that he found a black man holding the Asian man, and immediately asked what was happening.

“I said, ‘What are you doing? Why are you holding that guy?'” The man doing the detaining claimed that the Asian man had tried to sexually assault a woman in a subway car, which is why he had dragged him onto the platform to hold him.

The black man then asked him to call the cops, which he did. The police allegedly said they’d get there right away—but nothing happened.

“The guy holding the Asian gentleman said, ‘Where are the cops? Where are the cops?’” the witness recalled. “So I called the cops a second time.”

Meanwhile, the detained man was trying to free himself and make an escape.

“Although the video doesn’t show that, he was trying to get away the entire time,” the videographer said.

“There were other people around. One girl says, ‘I’ll go upstairs and get them’”—presumably referring to the police—”She came back down and said ‘They’re coming.’”

But it seems the police took their time arriving. Twenty minutes elapsed, according to the witness, before they showed up. During that time, more people began to arrive at the scene and were told that the man had tried to sexually assault a girl.

“‘Yeah, so what?'” the Asian man allegedly said, according to the witness. “‘Do you have it on camera?’”

That’s when the crowd took an ugly turn. One man allegedly slapped the detained man in the face, while another began punching him in the head, to scattered cheers and applause from the crowd.

The footage of the incident was shared by “Asian Crime Report” on Sunday, and the NYPD’s Asian Hate Crimes Task Force asked for the man to reach out and contact them.

But the man who shot the video says the incident was mischaracterized as a hate crime, and that the escalation of the situation could have been avoided if cops had arrived earlier.

“This thing has gone completely bonkers,” he told the New York Post. “The guy holding him never attacked him and he didn’t know those guys [the men who assaulted the Asian man]. The most important part in all of this is that none of this was race related.”

The NYPD, for its part, claims officers arrived at the station at 3:34 PM, shortly after the incident began, and that most of those involved were no longer there.

“Detectives alerted to video clips posted to social media on Sunday, showing a man being assaulted, are tracing the incident backwards from that moment on a Fulton train platform in their ongoing work to identify those involved, gather evidence, and find and interview all witnesses,” the NYPD said in a statement.

The video of the incident, however, is time-stamped at 3:49 p.m. and shows no sign of police at the scene.


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Todd Jaquith


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