An Asian man is fighting for his life after being assaulted in an unprovoked attack in Manhattan.
Authorities say that Yao Pan Ma was collecting cans in the East Harlem neighborhood when he was attacked from behind and repeatedly stomped on.
Police were called by a bus driver who saw the 61-year-old Chinese immigrant laying unconscious.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit is leading the investigation into the unprovoked assault.
Mr Ma’s niece said that he moved New York two years ago and collected cans to make money after losing his job due to the pandemic.
“We are completely in shock, terrified and scared and frustrated,” she told ABC7.
“My uncle is a very quiet person, very hardworking. He’s not the person to cause trouble.”
Investigators say they have not yet determined if Mr Ma was targeted because of his race, but according to NYPD statistics hate crime against Asians have spiked by 45 per cent.
The suspect in the attack is described as an adult male, with a dark complexion, wearing a black jacket, black pants, white sneakers and a multi-colored cap.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, called the attack on Mr Ma “outrageous.”
“Make no mistake, we will find the perpetrator and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said on Twitter.
Governor Andrew Cuomo also condemned the attack saying he was “sickened to learn of yet another bigoted act of violence against an Asian American man.”
“This is not who we are as New Yorkers, and we will not let these cowardly acts of hate against members of our New York family intimidate us,” said Mr Cuomo.
“We stand united with the Asian American community which has always been an important part of our diverse identity as a state.
“I am directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer their assistance in the investigation of this latest attack.”