Chinatown civic and community leaders rally Tuesday after the death...

Chinatown civic and community leaders rally Tuesday after the death of GuiYing Ma, an Asian-American woman who succumbed last week to injuries suffered in a November attack. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Community advocates and citizens rallied Tuesday in Manhattan's Chinatown, expressing fear and anger after an Asian woman's death last week from injuries suffered in a November beating.

GuiYing Ma, 61, died Feb. 22 at a Queens hospital where she had remained since a man allegedly beat her with a rock nearly three months ago. Elisaul Perez, who police said is homeless, faces multiple charges in connection with the attack, which could now be upgraded, officials said.

Ma's death was the fourth in recent months resulting from an attack allegedly targeting a member of the Asian community. Her killing also came amid a skyrocketing number of bias crimes directed at the city's Asian community, according to NYPD statistics.

According to data through Feb. 20, seven hate crimes targeting people of Asian descent in the city have been committed — a 133% spike over the same period in 2021. By comparison, bias attacks targeting Jews have increased 291% in the same period, the data showed.

In February, Christine Yuna Lee, 35, died after she was stabbed 40 times in her Chrystie Street apartment, allegedly by a homeless man, the NYPD said. Assamad Nash, 25, was arrested and charged with homicide, police said.

Both killings have added to a growing sense of unease among Asians who are demanding that Mayor Eric Adams meet with them to discuss crime, homelessless and mental illness.

"I am really scared," said Mary Wang, a longtime Chinatown resident. "We are calling for the mayor and all elected officials to come and meet with us."

Wang said she was gratified that Adams launched an initiative to remove the homeless from the subways. But she believed that was only shifting the problem from underground to areas like Chinatown.

Her elderly parents, who also live in the community, are now frightened to even visit neighborhood parks because of the crime situation, Wang said.

Raymond Tsang, newly elected head of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, an umbrella group of Chinatown civic and family groups, said the community needs to have a dialogue with Adams over the crime problem.

"We have no clear answers in sight, no clear answers and we need the mayor to give us some accountability," Tsang said.

Justin Yu, a local Democratic district leader, said no one feels safe in the Asian community.

"We came to this country looking for freedom and a new life, but suddenly these people end their life on a city street, a subway station," Yu said.

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