The 16-year-old girl caught on camera pummeling an Asian mother from Nevada as she was riding a Manhattan train with her family last week has been charged with assault.
Arrest and charges: The teenager reportedly turned herself in to the New York Police Department (NYPD) on Tuesday morning in the same area where the attack occurred. She was arrested and charged with two counts of assault for repeatedly punching Sue Young, the 51-year-old mother, and Joanna Lin, a 34-year-old bystander who filmed the viral incident.
The viral attack: Young and her husband, Ken, and their 11-year-old twin daughters were onboard a southbound F train near West 4th St. station at around 8 p.m. on Aug. 3 when three teenage girls, including the arrested 16-year-old, began laughing and pointing at the family.
When Young decided to laugh with them as a way to stop their apparent taunts, the trio became enraged. According to Young, the girls began cursing and at one point said, “Go back to where you came from, b*tch!” The girls stood over the family as Lin began recording the altercation.
When the 16-year-old saw Lin recording, she allegedly punched Lin multiple times. Lin said the girl hit her in the first and second attacks and then dragged her by the hair to the floor and hit her “a few times” in the head in the third attack. Young was also attacked as she tried to get to Lin, causing bruising to her arm and head.
“As soon as I made contact and pushed her shoulders away, they all came after me. I backed up, but the girl in the white t-shirt came slugging at me… She grabbed my hair, I grabbed her hair, and I basically just grabbed onto her hair to shield my face because she was swinging,” Young told the New York Post.
It was then other passengers intervened to protect the family. The three teenagers managed to flee the scene at the next stop.
Investigation: The NYPD previously offered a $3,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the 16-year-old girl. According to police, the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime as the alleged perpetrator made an “anti-ethnic remark” during the assault.
Young and Lin’s statement: However, Young and Lin said that they do not think that the incident was a hate crime. While Young said that stereotypes of Asians being less confrontational had likely led the young Black women to view them as easy targets, she does not believe that the attack was initially motivated by racial animus, according to NBC News. Young and her husband said they do not want to harbor or spark resentment toward the girls and the Black community.
“These are very young girls. Somebody or something or some circumstance has made a big impression on them — whether it’s historical pressure, societal pressure, social pressure,” Young told NBC News.
Lin, who is relieved by the 16-year-old’s decision to turn herself in, also hopes that the teen will issue an apology and receive “therapy, counseling and mentorship.”