Detectives canvassed Chinatown Tuesday for the man they suspect has stalked and assaulted Asian women in Manhattan bias attacks after they rejected his sexual advances.
Four of the attacks are considered bias incidents because the suspect -- described as about 5-foot-6 with black hair -- complained that the Asian women wouldn't pay attention to him or submit to his sexual advances, a police spokesman said.
The latest assault occurred Monday at 4 p.m., when the suspect allegedly accosted a woman near 48 Mulberry St. across from Columbus Park and struck her with a gray plastic bag containing a hard object.
Police said the first attack occurred at 4:15 p.m., June 10, on Grand Street in Chinatown. About four hours later, a second woman was attacked on East 30th Street, and a third victim was assaulted at 12:25 a.m. Friday, near Second Avenue and East 60th Street, police said.
All of the victims, women between the ages of 29 and 41, were struck with a hard object in either a white or gray bag before being treated at hospitals and released, police said.
Chinatown residents said the suspect is someone who has been recognized as hanging around the area of lower Mulberry Street by the park, a location known as "Mulberry Bend." Once notorious for its crime-ridden shantytown, the area now contains Chinese funeral homes, sandwich shops and a hotel.
Jennifer Sharkey of Manhattan, owner of Sharkey's Cafe at 48 Mulberry St., said Asian women in the area are being sensible and vigilant. Sharkey has posted on the restaurant wall a video surveillance image of the suspect that police are making available to merchants in Chinatown.
Frank DeCurtis of Manhattan, who works with Sharkey at the cafe, said that the eatery now keeps two people working during business hours "just to be careful." A sign outside the restaurant has the admonition "Stay Safe!"
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-8477. Tips also can be submitted at the Crime Stoppers website, nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting information to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP 577.
With Gary Dymski