8 Asians

8A-2013-01-28-JasonCommissoThere has been a series of violent muggings in East Harlem that appeared to target Asian Americans, and the suspect is named as Jason Commisso.

In all the incidents the suspect followed the victims into their elevators, violently attacked them, and robbed them of their phones, purses or wallets. Commisso was caught using a credit card from one of the victims approximately 40 minutes after the attack.

The list of assaults:

  • January 17, 8 a.m. 44-year-old female injured on the left side of her face.
  • January 19, 11:11 a.m. 46-year-old female hit on the left side of her face.
  • January 21, 2:27 p.m. 64-year-old male, punched numerous times, sustained a broken nose and a swollen lip.
  • January 23, 6:00 a.m. 46-year-old male, punched in the face several times.
  • January 23, 8:30 a.m. 62-year-old male, punched in the face.
  • January 24, 8:30 a.m. 47-year-old female, punched repeatedly.
  • January 24, 7 p.m. 27-year-old female, received lacerations to her face and nose.
  • January 26, 10:20 a.m. 57-year-old male, broken nose.

…The NYPD beefed up personnel in the 23rd precinct, as Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito rallied the community to “remain vigilant until [the attacker] is apprehended.”

Just before a press conference Saturday morning, the councilwoman was informed of an eighth attack.

“It was deeply disturbing to hear of an eighth mugging just this morning,” Mark-Viverito told the crowd. “I thank the 23rd Precinct for springing into action to find the attack and also to educate the community on taking precautions.”

Kelly assigned additional Impact officers to the area, to join personnel already assigned from the Hate Crime Task Force, Manhattan North Task Force, Manhattan North Anti-Crime, Manhattan North Grand Larceny Unit, the 23rd Precinct Detectives Squad and plainclothes officers.

Impact officers are recent academy graduates, stationed in the busiest precincts on foot.

Officers fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese were also sent out to conduct community outreach.

Police identified 34-year-old Jason Commisso as a suspect yesterday. He was caught on video at a McDonalds at 1872 3rd Avenue, using a credit card stolen from one of the victims on January 24, approximately 40 minutes after the attack.

Commisso is described as a Hispanic male, 6-foot-1 and 200 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. His last known address was in Queens.

The police are asking that anyone with information about Commisso call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Asian Americans have been targeted as “ideal prey” or for their gold, and have been the victims of violence in DC and Oakland, so it’s a good reminder that one should always be aware of one’s surroundings.

Image courtesy: NYPD

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