An 83-year-old Asian grandmother allegedly was spit and punched in the face in Westchester, New York.
The disturbing incident on Tuesday evening is the latest in a spate of attacks against Asian Americans that have increased during the coronavirus pandemic because of the virus' suspected origins in Wuhan, China.
Nancy Toh said she was outside Nordstrom at the Westchester Mall in White Plains around 7:30 p.m., collecting bottles and cans for money, when she was hit, ABC New York station WABC reported.
She said her assailant came up close to her and spit in her face and punched her in the face, police sources told ABC News.
Toh fell on the ground and hit her head and blacked out momentarily. By the time she regained consciousness, the suspect had fled, police said. Toh reported the incident the next day.
Her daughter, Linda Toh, said their family fears for their safety following the attack.
"I didn't think it was so close to home," Linda said to WABC on the attack. "And now I'm afraid to go out, and my kid is afraid to go out."
Police in White Plains on Thursday arrested Glenmore Nembhard, 40, whom they described as "homeless." He was charged with felony assault for intending to cause injury to a person 65 or older, police said.
He was arraigned Friday and remanded to The Westchester County Jail, police said.
White Plains Mayor Tom Roach condemned the attack: "This was an appalling and unprovoked incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and the victim's family."
The White Plains Police Department said the case is now with the district attorney.
"We are a diverse community and we celebrate that diversity. We condemn acts of violence and hatred and will not tolerate them in our community," the department told ABC News in a statement.
There were nearly 3,000 hate incidents towards Asian Americans in 2020, according to data from the Stop AAPI Hate coalition.