Jail time for man guilty in hate-crime killing of Asian

Jail time for man guilty in hate-crime killing of Asian

A memorial to Yao Pan Ma, on Jan 21, 2021, who spent eight months in a coma before dying as a result of the injuries he sustained in a 2021 attack. (Photo: New York Times)
A memorial to Yao Pan Ma, on Jan 21, 2021, who spent eight months in a coma before dying as a result of the injuries he sustained in a 2021 attack. (Photo: New York Times)

NEW YORK: A man who admitted to brutally, and fatally, attacking a 61-year-old immigrant in East Harlem two years ago because the victim was Asian was sentenced to 22 years in prison Friday.

The sentencing of the man, Jarrod Powell, came several months after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter as a hate crime in the killing of the immigrant, Yao Pan Ma, according to prosecutors.

Ma spent about eight months in a coma before dying as a result of the injuries he sustained in the attack. In entering his plea, according to prosecutors, Powell, 51, said he had targeted the older man because he was Asian.

“New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement announcing the sentence. “And no one should have to fear that they may be in danger because of their background.”

Powell’s attack on Ma, in April 2021, came amid a wave of violence targeting people of Asian descent in New York City and elsewhere in the United States that had begun with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. An accompanying surge in reported hate crimes prompted Asian American leaders in the city to demand that more be done to address the problem.

People of Asian descent have been the victims in several high-profile crimes in the past few years. In November 2021, GuiYing Ma, a 61-year-old Chinese immigrant, was fatally beaten as she swept a Queens sidewalk. In January, the man who admitted attacking her was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In January 2022, Michelle Alyssa Go was pushed to her death by a mentally ill man at the Times Square subway station. The next month, Christina Yuna Lee was fatally stabbed by a man who followed her from the street into her apartment. In March 2022, a 28-year-old man was charged with seven counts of assault and attempted assault in connection with a two-hour spree of attacks on women of Asian descent in Manhattan.

In the case of Ma, police said at the time that Powell had suddenly shoved him from behind while the older man was pushing a grocery cart full of bottles and cans near 125th Street and Third Avenue.

Video footage released by police showed that after Ma collapsed to the ground, Powell stomped on his head and kicked him several times in the face.

At the time that Ma was attacked, his wife, Baozhen Chen, told reporters that the couple had moved to New York City from China’s Guangdong province in 2019, leaving their two adult children behind.

Ma, who had worked as a dessert chef in China, lost his job at a New York restaurant during the pandemic, his wife told The Daily News. Because he was ineligible for unemployment benefits, he began collecting discarded cans on the street starting in September 2020, she said.

Bragg’s office said Friday that it had 39 open cases of anti-Asian hate crime.


This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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