Karen pepper sprays four Asian women in NYC during street argument


‘Go back to where you came from’: Moment woman pepper sprays four Asian women in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District

  • A Karen was arguing with four Asian women on Saturday in Manhattan when she suddenly pulled out pepper spray and went on a racist rant
  • A second video from a bystander shows the women walking away, but the Karen chases after them and pepper sprays one of them in the face
  • It is the latest act of anti-Asian violence in New York City after hate-crimes against Asians shot up 343 percent last year
  • Hate crimes are up more than 30 percent from 2021, and overall violent crime in the city is up nearly 40 percent   

A woman pepper sprayed four Asian women during an argument as police look into the latest example of anti-Asian violence in the New York City.

Shocking video recorded by the victims shows the moment the Karen starts arguing with the four Queens women, all in their 20s, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on Saturday. 

The victims, who wished to remain anonymous, told ABC 7 that they were checking out a flower installation when the woman suddenly picked a fight with them, and after accusing them of harassing her, the Karen pepper sprayed the four. 

‘It was so painful, one victim said. ‘I couldn’t open my eyes for about 30 minutes.’ 

A bystander then filmed the victims walking away from the argument, but the Karen continues to yell at them and walks up behind one of the women and blasts her directly in the eyes with the pepper spray before leaving the area.  

A Karen was arguing with four Asian women on Saturday when she pulled out pepper spray

The victims said the Karen claimed they were harassing her and then sprayed them multiple times

A Karen was arguing with four Asian women on Saturday in Manhattan when she suddenly pulled out pepper spray and went on a racist rant

Even though the women walked away, the Karen chased after them (pictured) and pepper sprayed one of the Asian victims in the face

Even though the women walked away, the Karen chased after them (pictured) and pepper sprayed one of the Asian victims in the face

Police are on the hunt for the suspect, investigating the case as a hate crime

Police are on the hunt for the suspect, investigating the case as a hate crime

It's the latest anti-Asian crime in the New York City, where hate crimes have shot up, those against Asians going up 343 percent last year

It’s the latest anti-Asian crime in the New York City, where hate crimes have shot up, those against Asians going up 343 percent last year

Police said the incident was currently under investigation and was being treated as a hate crime. 

According to the victims, the unidentified Karen had allegedly gone on a racist tirade as she pulled out the pepper spray on the Asian women. 

‘Saying like, ‘Go back to where you came from, you don’t belong here,” one victim told ABC 7. ‘She pointed to an Asian bystander who was a man, we didn’t know who he was, pointed at him and said take your ***** back to your country.’ 

The victims claimed that after the assault, one of them got a message from someone else who had allegedly ran into the same women earlier in the day, saying the Karen had pepper sprayed three others, including a 13-year-old girl. 

‘Learning that she did this to other people, including a minor, that’s not ok,’ one of the victims said. ‘She needs to be caught.’  

Another victim said that despite hearing racist remarks growing up, it was the first time any of them had been physical victims of a hate crime. 

Hate crimes have been on the rise in the Big Apple and nationwide, with the NYPD reporting that hate crimes had shot up 96 percent in 2021, with 133 Asian Americans experiencing terrifying and dangerous experiences of discrimination in the city.

Hate crimes are currently up 31.1 percent from the same time last year with one of the latest attacks taking place in April, when a Chinese food delivery worker was gunned down. 

Zhiwen Yan, 45, (right) in this undated image on the day of his wedding, was making a delivery on his scooter in the Forest Hills neighborhood Queens at around 9:30 pm on April 30, cops say, when he was fatally shot in the chest

Zhiwen Yan, 45, (right) in this undated image on the day of his wedding, was making a delivery on his scooter in the Forest Hills neighborhood Queens at around 9:30 pm on April 30, cops say, when he was fatally shot in the chest

Supporters of Yan, who was allegedly killed by Glenn Hirsch, 51, held a demonstration outside Queens Supreme Court protesting the suspect being released without bail

Supporters of Yan, who was allegedly killed by Glenn Hirsch, 51, held a demonstration outside Queens Supreme Court protesting the suspect being released without bail

Steven Zajonc, 28, was arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and harassment in March

Steven Zajonc, 28, was arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and harassment in March

This map shows the times and locations of the attacks Zajonc allegedly perpetrated against seven Asian women on February 27

This map shows the times and locations of the attacks Zajonc allegedly perpetrated against seven Asian women on February 27

NYPD's own figures show how hate crimes rocketed during the pandemic

NYPD’s own figures show how hate crimes rocketed during the pandemic

Zhiwen Yan, 45, was shot and killed in Queens during an argument ‘over duck sauce,’ with police arresting Glenn Hirsch, 51, a man obsessed with the condiment.  

Hirsch has pleaded not guilty and is currently being held without bail, much to the outrage of the Asian community as residents protested the decision, slamming the murder of the father-of-three as a hate crime. 

In March, police arrested Steven Zajonc, 28, of Florida, who had barricaded himself in the New York Public Library after allegedly assaulting seven Asian women in a two-hour rampage across Manhattan. 

At the start of the year, the city was shocked by the murder of Michelle Go, 40, who had been pushed to her death at the subway platform in Times Square.

The rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans has been attributed to the pandemic due to COVID-19’s origins in China, while former President Donald Trump referred to coronavirus as ‘kung flu’ or ‘the China virus.’

The attacks come amid a continued rise in violent crime across the city as felony assaults have shut up by 19.3 percent so far this year when compared with the same period last year, with the NYPD reporting 10,321 cases as of Wednesday.

Overall crime is up almost 40 percent in the Big Apple, with assault up nearly 20 percent

Overall crime is up almost 40 percent in the Big Apple, with assault up nearly 20 percent

Robberies have seen the most dramatic uptick, with 4,881 cases reported so far this year, 39.5 percent more than the same time last year, and rapes have also shot up by more than 16 percent.

Although murders and the number of shooting victims has seen a down tick of 8.7 and 7.1 percent, respectively, overall crime in the city is up 38.4 percent.

Transit crimes are also up a shocking 53 percent. 

Public transportation has become so scary for residents, 85 percent support more transit cops in the stations – which Mayor Eric Adams, 61, promised to address but hasn’t seen through. 

In addition, 63 percent support metal detectors in stations, according to the SCRI. 

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