Nancy Toh, 83, was spit on and punched near the Westchester shopping center on Tuesday, police said. She hit the ground hard enough that she "blacked out momentarily," White Plains police Capt. James Spencer said in a statement.
Toh's face and hip were injured, and she possibly suffered a concussion, he said.
She reported the attack on Wednesday, Spencer said, adding that police focused on Glenmore Nembhard, 40, as a suspect and found him in the area Thursday.
He was arrested and charged by the Westchester County Office of the District Attorney with felony assault in the second degree with intent to cause physical injury to a person who is 65 years of age or older, said spokesman Dan Weiller, by email.
The Legal Aid Society of Westchester County, which handles public defenders for the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to jail records, Nembhard's next court date is Wednesday.
District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah said in a statement Friday that the possibility a hate crime occurred was still under investigation.
"Attacks like this one impact all of us," she said. "They create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation that keeps us from feeling safe and secure in our homes and communities."
The violence occurred amid an explosion of attacks on Asian Americans only a few months after the end of President Donald Trump's tenure as a leader who repeatedly blamed the Covid-19 pandemic on China.
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