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Japanese Jazz Pianist Tadataka Unno Speaks Out About Subway Attack That Left Him Badly Injured

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A well known musician badly injured after being attacked near his home in Harlem is speaking out about the incident.

New York-based Japanese musician Tadataka Unno is a beloved member of the local jazz community. The 40-year-old is a renowned pianist and composer.

On Sept. 27 around 7:30 p.m., Unno was exiting the subway station at West 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue when several young people were blocking the turnstiles. Unno attempted to walk around the group, but was yelled at and pushed from behind, eventually punched in the face and body.

Tadataka Unno at our Battle in the Bronx V by Linda Manning on YouTube

Unno is now speaking out about the attack in an interview with the New York Times.

"I thought this was how I was going to die," he told the Times.

Nearly a month after the incident, Unno remains unable to play the piano or hold his son due to damage to his right hand, according to the Times report. He says he has also not left his apartment except for medical appointments due to fear.

"My wife and I worry about raising kids here, especially after this happened," he told the Times.

Jerome Jennings, an instructor at the Julliard School and a good friend of Unno's, told CBS2's Kiran Dhillon Unno's wife says there were racial slurs yelled in the process.

"He did hear the word 'Chinese' and 'Asian,'" Jennings said.

Police say no anti-Asian remarks were indicated in the report but the investigation is ongoing.

No arrests have been made.

A GoFundMe to help support Unno - the sole breadwinner in his family and a new father - raised more than $200,000.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.


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