A lawyer for Ms Jirajariyawetch said his client was left traumatised by the incident which occurred in the early hours of November 22nd last and which has been linked to a 500% rise in attacks on Asian Americans in the United States this year.

A young Thai woman has come forward in New York this week to encourage city residents to provide police with information about a man who robbed and sexually assaulted her in late November saying she feared someone else may become a victim of the same attacker.

(Left) 23-year-old Bew or Ms Jirajariyawetch from police photographs which were taken in the aftermath of the horrific attack which she suffered in the early hours of Monday, November 22nd last after she was assaulted by a man at the 34th Street Herald Square subway station in New York. (Inset lower right) The attacker escaped by jumping over turnstiles at the station. (Top right) A picture of Ms Jirajariyawetch, a fashion model who emigrated to the United States this summer.

A young Thai woman who recently moved to New York was attacked and mugged in the early hours of Monday morning November 22nd in another violent incident in a growing pattern which has seen attacks on the Asian community across the United States rise by 500% since 2020.

In New York City alone, the number of violent attacks on Asian people in the city has increased to 128 reported incidents compared to 28 in 2020.

Brutal attack on Thai fashion model is being investigated by NYPD officers at Queens in New York

The 23-year-old woman at the centre of the attack which was highlighted by police this week is Bew or Ms Jirajariyawetch who works as a fashion model.

She told New York City police in Queens that she had been returning from a concert featuring a performance by Thai American rapper Doboyway in the early hours of the morning alone when she was suddenly attacked from behind as she stood quietly waiting for the subway train in a deserted station.

The scary details of her ordeal and story have only come to light as police in the Big Apple decided to reach out to the public for information on her assailant who appears from CCTV footage to have been an African American man who was seen jumping the subway station turnstiles as he made his escape from the scene of the crime after earlier dragging the woman to a secluded spot on the lower platform and forcing her onto the ground.

Incident took place in a deserted subway station as Bew waited for the next train to arrive alone

The incident took place at the 34th Street Herald Square subway station at 4 am and saw the woman choked, sexually assaulted and robbed of her purse.

‘There are so many cameras in the subway station to track but they don’t seem to be working,’ Ms Jirajariyawetch revealed as she told the media she had agreed to go public with her story to not only help the police receive information and tip-offs which may lead to the arrest of her attacker but also to highlight the growing and disturbing trend.

The young woman’s story has since generated worldwide attention after her story was featured in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.

Photograph shows the brutal nature of the assault

The brutal nature of the assault on the woman can be seen from photographs taken at the scene by police shortly afterwards in which her face appears bruised and swollen with dried blood smears.

Bew as left bloodshot in her left eye from a burst blood vessel as she recovered after being dragged along in a chokehold and thrown to the ground by the man who forcefully pulled her along the platform.

Disturbing video footage from the scene shows the young woman being pulled along the platform, thrown to the ground where her attacker proceeds to sexually assault her while also delivering four punches to her head before snatching her purse and taking flight from the scene.

The man began hitting the young woman after she struggled to resist him as she lay helpless on the ground.

Incident featured on New York’s Crime Stoppers

‘There were so many police officers at the subway after the attack but no one was there before. I don’t want anyone else to go through this or be hurt by this person,’ she said on Wednesday. 

New York City Crime Stoppers, a programme operated by the New York City Police Department which offers rewards for information from the public to solve crimes, is offering $3,500 to anyone that can supply information or assistance to identify and lead to the arrest of the attacker from a short clip showing him jumping over the turnstiles while making his exit from the subway station.

Bew or Ms Jirajariyawetch only moved to New York from Thailand this summer to learn English at the Global ESL Academy in the city and is reported to have lost all her money in the attack as well as her personal identification documents.

Lawyer said his client ‘finds strength’ in speaking out at this time about her traumatic experience

Her American attorney, Eric Parnes, told the media that his client was traumatised by the incident but is determined that this will not influence her attitude towards the United States or her decision to move there in pursuit of a career.

‘Bew does not want this negative experience to discourage her thoughts on New York,’ Mr Parnes explained. ‘Bew has been unquestionably traumatised. She has been struggling with a lack of appetite and persistent nightmares. Living in a foreign country without family is already a difficult situation let alone coping with such an unwarranted act of violence. However, Bew finds strength in speaking out about this and continues to push forward with her aspirations.’ 

Attack came just 24 hours after an African American man was murdered while sleeping on a bench

On November 21st, the day before the attack on the Thai woman, a 32-year-old street soccer player Akeem Loney, an African American man who was living rough, was killed after being stabbed in the neck while sleeping on a seat at Penn Station at 15 minutes past midnight.

Police officers in the city are also searching for a man who threatened to kill a woman on the subway system late in November while ranting and making ‘anti-white statements’ at passersby.

The man wielded an improvised knife or weapon at the woman.

Death of Thai grandfather in San Francisco earlier this year was seen as a wake-up call on rising violence towards Asian Americans during the virus crisis

The violent attack on the Thai woman follows the killing of 84-year-old Thai grandfather Vicha Ratanapakdee in the Daly City area of San Francisco on January 28th this year by a young African American man in what has been seen as another racially motivated hate crime and which galvanised Asian American groups to go public with their concerns linking the spike in such attacks to anti-Asian American rhetoric which took off alongside the COVID-19 virus from March 2020.

Murder charge for 19 year old who barrelled down elderly 84-year-old Thai man in San Francisco

A 19-year-old man, Antoine Watson, was later arrested and charged in connection with the death of Mr Vicha.

His American family including his Thai born daughter, who moved to America after marrying a local man in the US, described the crime as one of murder.

84 year old was planning a return to Thailand

Ms Watson later told the media that her father had moved to the United States to help raise his grandchildren but was in the process of moving back to Thailand as he longed to return to a more laid back lifestyle.

The killing led to a warning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok to Thai nationals living in the United States to exercise caution given the rise of such incidents which have been seen across the country.

Religious man commits murder spree killing six Asian American women at massage parlours in Georgia

In March this year, a killing spree launched by 21-year old Robert Aaron Long saw eight Asian people gunned down including six women in Georgia.

This was linked to Mr Long’s patronage of massage parlours which were fronts for prostitution.

A friend of the accused man who provided information to police said that Mr Long, reportedly a very devout person, was plagued by religious guilt as he could not overcome what his friend described as sex addiction.

Hatred of Asian Americans driven by prejudicial anger is real and a threat to US Thai communities living in fear

The outrage added to the heightened level of fear felt by the Asian American community in the United States which has also been linked to rising racial tensions in the country. 

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Further reading:

Hatred of Asian Americans driven by prejudicial anger is real and a threat to US Thai communities living in fear

Murder charge for 19 year old who barrelled down elderly 84-year-old Thai man in San Francisco

Thai woman found dead in London. 19-year-old man charged at the Old Bailey with her murder in the city

UK police detectives intensify probe into Thai woman’s 2004 murder and make public appeal for information

Thai bride named as ‘Lady of the Hills in Yorkshire’ by Thai police – husband, living here, is not a suspect

UK beauty spot may have disguised the grim murder of a Thai bride from Udon Thani for over a decade