A New York City woman struck in the head with a rock in a random attack the day after Thanksgiving died last week, her family confirmed during a news conference Thursday.
Police say QuiYing Ma, 61, was sweeping outside her apartment in Queens when Elisaul Perez, 33, approached her and smashed her in the head with the rock. The incident occurred just after 8 a.m.
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Ma, who was originally from China, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where she remained in critical condition before dying on Feb. 22, FOX 5 New York reports.
Investigators looked into the incident as a hate crime. Perez initially was arrested and charged with first and second-degree assault, as well as criminal possession of a weapon.
A GoFundMe page to help pay for Ma's medical expenses raised nearly $202,000 as of Tuesday. She is survived by her husband, a son and two grandchildren.
Speaking through a translator, Zhanxin Gao recounted an interaction with his wife that had the family holding out hope for a recovery.
"On the day I went to the hospital to visit her I noticed that day her right hand could move, and also her right leg could move a little bit on that very day," Gao said.
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"We are here today to support them in their loss but also to shed a light in the rise of hate crimes we are seeing across this city and across this country," Former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, a member of the law firm representing the Ma family, said during the briefing.. "This has lead to unimaginable pain and loss in so many communities."
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"As of late last year, overall hate crimes jumped by nearly 100% in New York City compared to the previous year. In 2021, there were 503 hate crimes compared to 252 in 2020," FOX 5 reports.