An Asian father of two who was repeatedly kicked in the head during a hate crime attack and left him in a coma has died eight months after the brutal beating of a homeless career criminal in crime-plagued New York City, the NYPD reports.
Yao Pan Ma, 61, died on December 31 after being attacked in April by Jarrod Powell, 49 – who has been arrested 15 times since 1988, the NYPD said.
The Big Apple reported nearly 474 hate crimes through November last year – an increase of 96 percent from 2020 in the same time frame, where there were 242 such attacks.
Out of the 474 hate crimes, 127 were attacks on Asians – almost fivefold from the 28 attacks on Asians in 2020.
Yao Pan Ma, 61, (pictured in April) died on December 31, eight months after he was attacked
Ma collected cans in April 2021 in East Harlem when Jarrod Powell, 49, attacked him and trampled on his head at least six times, leaving Ma in a coma
His death has been considered a homicide.
Powell was remanded in custody at Ward’s Island’s homeless shelter for men a few days after the April attack and was initially charged with second-degree murder and two counts of assault.
He was arrested after another resident of the shelter recognized him.
His charges have not been upgraded with the murder charge, police said.
He is due in court again on February 10.
Ma, a Chinese immigrant, was left in critical condition and placed in a medically induced coma after his head was trampled at least six times while collecting cans.
‘When I saw him in the hospital … his face, I cried. I’m still crying, his wife Baozhen Chen said in April. ‘I hope he wakes up and talks to me and gets better and comes home. It’s really hard to believe ‘.
Police sources also said at the time that Ma suffered a brain contusion and facial fracture. The image of his battered face showed he was connected to medical equipment at the hospital.
Ruth Howell, 64, Ma’s neighbor, described the couple as ‘two peas in a pod’.
‘It’s so sad. They were like two peas in a pod. They were always together, Howell told the New York Post Friday.
Powell has been arrested 15 times since 1988, calling the footage of the attack “a whole lot of bulls”, and he claimed that Ma attacked him first.
Powell in court in June
‘It makes me angry. He was out there trying to earn a few dollars to help his family. You expect him to come home, not for this to happen. ‘
Howell also said she wants Mas’ attacker to spend 25 years to his life to leave Chen alone.
‘She’s a good person. That should not happen to her, Howell tells the New York Post.
Ma pushed her cart and collected recycled items in Harlem to help her family cope after losing her job as a dishwasher during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ma ‘fit for her job with her shopping cart’, witness Armetha Knight, 37, told the New York Daily News.
Ma and his wife, who have two grown children, moved to New York from China’s Guangdong province in 2019 looking for better job opportunities, Chen told the Daily News.
The whole attack was captured on video, which Powell said was ‘a whole lot of bulls ** t’, and that Ma attacked him first.
Powell was released on parole in May 2012 after serving more than five years for aggravated assault, according to records. He was also conditionally released on parole in 2000, after serving about two years for a conviction for attempted assault.
According to WABC, Powell allegedly kidnapped a 23-year-old woman from an apartment in the Staten Island neighborhood of New York City on January 25, 1998, before sexually assaulting her.
He was charged with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, sexual misconduct and sexual assault, but it was not immediately clear if these were the charges he allegedly served when he was released on probation in 2000.
Powell was arrested again for evading subway tickets eight times between July 2002 and December 2004 before being busted again for assault twice at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in February 2006, the WABC reported.
Total crime has increased by more than 20 percent in the past year, with abuses of nearly 5 percent