Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis held a conference on Thursday, August 6 outside the Homecrest-Bensonhurst Senior Citizen Center, 7907 New Utrecht Ave., to discuss the attack on an 89-year-old Asian woman who was slapped and lit on fire while walking on 16th Avenue and 77th Street last month.
“On July 14, an 89-year-old Chinese American woman was attacked outside her home just a couple of blocks away from here,” she said. “She was a 20-year member of our Homecrest Bensonhurst Senior Center. This woman, who innocently walked outside her home, was attacked by two individuals, slapped in the face and set on fire. Thankfully, she was able to use some tactics that put that fire out immediately on her clothes and saved her life. Think about what kind of society we are in right now where elderly senior citizens are being attacked.”
During the conference, Malliotakis, the Republican candidate for Congress in New York’s 11th District, blamed a lot of the increase in crime on the budget cuts to the NYPD for Fiscal Year 2021.
“In the 62nd Precinct, there have been 40 percent more misdemeanor and felony assaults in the past month compared to last year,” she said. “Of course [defunding of police] is setting an example for perpetrators to commit crimes. We are seeing that in the number within the confines of NYPD’s Brooklyn South commands. Murder is up 58 percent, robbery increased 25 percent, car thefts are up 113 percent and shootings have more than tripled in just the past month compared to the same period in 2019.”
According to Malliotakis, the Homecrest-Bensonhurst Senior Center attracts mainly Chinese seniors from the area. Its board of directors, along with members of the community, are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the attackers.
Community leaders also spoke during the day.
“No person should be walking down the street and fearful of our lives, especially an elderly person,” said Wai Wah Chin, president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York. “No one should be attacked. All the people here know crime is rising in New York. We have to make sure our legislatures know we have a problem and we do not accept it.”
“We are looking at the results of defunding the police, especially the 600 staff of plain-clothed detectives keeping our streets safe,” said Phil Wong. “By removing the members, we are headed back to the 1980s.”
Anyone with information regarding the attack should call NYPD Crime-Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.