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Society

Suspect Arrested in Attack on Chinese American Man in East Harlem

NEW YORK — A man was arrested Tuesday in an assault on a Chinese American man who was kicked repeatedly in the head in East Harlem, police said.

Jarrod Powell was charged with two counts of felony assault in Friday's attack on 61-year-old Yao Pan Ma, police said. It wasn't clear if Powell, 49, had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

Ma was collecting cans when he was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground and kicked in the head. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he remained in a coma on Tuesday, officials said.

The police department's hate crimes task force is investigating the attack, which appeared to be among the latest in a troubling rise in  anti-Asian hate crimes in New York and around the country.

Surveillance video showing the attacker kicking Ma and stomping on him, echoing last month's assault near Times Square in which a Filipina American woman was knocked to the ground and stomped on. A parolee convicted of killing his mother nearly two decades ago was  arrested in that attack.

The initial charges against Powell do not include assault as a hate crime, but a police spokesperson said the attack against Ma is still under investigation and the charges could be upgraded.

Elected officials and community advocates planned a news conference later Tuesday to announce the creation of a trust fund to assist Ma's family. 

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