Asian hate crime victim dies from his injuries
The man accused of fatally beating a Chinese immigrant as he collected recyclables in East Harlem to support his family has been hit with upgraded hate crime charges for the vicious attack.
Jarrod Powell, 50, who is homeless, has been incarcerated on Rikers Island since the brutal April 23 assault of Yao Pan Ma. The 61-year-old succumbed to his injuries on Dec. 31 after eight months in a medically induced coma with brain damage and facial fractures.
The attack drew national attention as part of a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in New York and around the country. Jarrod Powell, 50, of New York City, was previously charged with attempted murder, felony assault and hate crimes in the case.
According to the indictment, at 8:15 p.m. on April 23, 2021, Powell saw Ma, who weighed 114 pounds, on the corner of 125th Street and 3rd Avenue before he allegedly ran up to Ma from behind and struck him, knocking Ma to the ground. Powell then allegedly stomped on Ma’s head multiple times and repeatedly kicked him in the head, face, and neck. Powell then allegedly fled the scene, leaving Ma unconscious on the ground.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said Thursday those charges have now been upgraded to 2nd-degree murder as a hate crime.
“As alleged, Jarrod Powell selectively attacked Mr. Ma for no other reason than his race,” DA Alvin Bragg said in a statement. “Tragically, our Office is currently prosecuting 33 hate crime cases driven by anti-Asian bias – unfortunately, the most we have had since our Hate Crimes Unit was established in 2010.”
Ma and his wife immigrated to the United States in October 2018 from China, where Ma was a dim sum chef. After arriving here, Ma obtained work as a general kitchen worker at a Chinese restaurant, making pastries and performing other kitchen tasks. However, when the pandemic hit, Ma lost his job when the restaurant closed during lockdown.
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