Video shows Asian man being attacked with spray cleaner
NEW YORK - The NYPD is investigating a possible coronavirus-related hate crime after an Asian man was sprayed with what appeared to be fabric freshener or odor-eliminator on a subway train.
In a short clip posted on Mar. 4, a black man tells an Asian man not to sit next to him. “Tell him to move." A woman is heard asking why the man should move. “Because he’s standing right f–king next to me! Tell him to move. Tell him to move,” says the man.
He then takes a bottle of what appears to be Febreze and sprays it in the man's direction.
Celia Au, a Chinese-American actress who tweeted the video, told the Post she decided to put it online because it upset her.
“In times of crisis people should work together to beat it [the crisis]. Not discriminate,” she said.
In another clip of the incident, the Asian man is seen confronting the black man. He asks "Why is that? Why can't I sit next to you? before a woman drags him away. “You better move – you’re being dumb right now. You’re being dumb," says the black man.
The MTA retweeted a video of the incident which occurred on an N train in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with the caption: "What works in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus: 1. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds 2. Cough and sneeze into your elbow 3. Stay home if you're sick. What doesn't work: 1. Racism.
The MTA Hate Crimes Task Force is reviewing the incident.
There were 22 reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York state. None of the reported cases was in an Asian person.