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Calls To End Anti-Asian Violence Continue As NYPD Makes Arrest In Friday Attack On 1 Train

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Thousands rallied against hate across the country and here at home on Sunday, as two more attacks were reported on Asian New Yorkers.

As CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported, The NYPD announced the arrest of 36-year-old Marc Mathieu of the Bronx in the random attack on a 68-year-old man on a northbound 1 train on Friday afternoon.

One witness to the bloody assault called the incident a hate crime.

"He used the term 'MF Asian,' and before anything happened he was on top of him and his blood was everywhere," George O'Krepkie said.

nyc subway punch attack asian man fan
Police released a photo of a suspect who allegedly struck a 68-year-old man with a closed fist while onboard a northbound 1 train. (credit: NYPD)

O'Krepkie was sitting across from the victim and said the attacker struck so suddenly, the victim barely had time to respond. O'Krepkie grabbed the suspect by the pants, but he got away.

"I quickly turned back to the victim and took a scarf I was wearing off and created a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding," O'Krepkie said.

EMS arrived and the victim was taken to a hospital.

O'Krepkie said he escaped one of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, and added he felt the same kind of disbelief watching the subway attack happen.

"I don't understand why Asian people are being targeted in this country," O'Krepkie said.

For many Asian-Americans, violence and racism is a daily experience.

"They call me 'Kung flu.' They call me the 'Chinese virus,'" Flushing resident Ann Lee said.

"It's very dangerous. They push Chinese people. It's very scary," another person said.

The NYPD is investigating another possible anti-Asian hate crime that took place on the Lower East Side on March 20, 2021. (Credit: NYPD Crime Stoppers)

Meanwhile, police are looking for another man in a suspected hate crime. They said he punched a 66-year-old Asian man in the face on Saturday morning on Allen Street on the Lower East Side, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.

The victim, who suffered bruising and swelling, told police he heard the suspect say "Chinese" multiple times before striking him.

There was another attack at the Franklin Street subway station, near Varick Street in Tribeca, the day before.

In Flushing, a group is calling to create a civilian defense patrol team to be visible in neighborhoods in Queens that have large Asian communities.

"A patrol team to protect our community. We try to group another Asian, like Korean, Indian, Philippine and Thai, to join us. We can be volunteers," said Kai Key Li, vice president of the group Public Safety Patrol.

"Personally, I'm afraid to do simple things, like walk home, take the subway, or be in the streets. To know that there are people who care enough to stand by me means a lot," Flushing resident Helen Park said.

Volunteers will wear yellow vests and be a presence on the street. They will be focused on solutions, not fear.

Anyone with information on the attacks is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at

CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report.

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