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Man accused of punching 67-year-old Asian woman 125 times in N.Y. pleads guilty to hate crime

Tammel Esco, 42, will be sentenced in November to more than 17 years in prison, the Westchester County District Attorney's Office said.
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The New York man who was caught on video punching an elderly Asian woman more than 100 times this year pleaded guilty Tuesday to a hate crime, officials announced. 

Tammel Esco, 42, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault as a hate crime, a violent felony, the Westchester County district attorney’s office said in a statement.

In a plea deal, he will be sentenced on Nov. 29 to 17½ years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision, the statement said.

The plea comes seven months after the brutal March 11 attack, in which Esco called the 67-year-old victim, a woman of Filipino descent, an “Asian b----."

He approached her from behind as she entered her apartment building on Riverdale Avenue in Yonkers, knocked her to the ground, punched her more than 100 times in and around her head, repeatedly stomped on her body and spat on her, the district attorney’s office said. 

An image from a security camera shows a man about to attack an Asian woman in the lobby of a building in Yonkers, N.Y.
An image from a security camera shows a man about to attack an Asian woman in the lobby of a building in Yonkers, N.Y.Yonkers Police Dept. via YouTube

Security video showed she was punched 125 times, in what Yonkers Police Commissioner John J. Mueller called “one of the most appalling attacks I have ever seen.” 

Esco was arrested the same day and has been held without bail since the attack. 

The victim was transported to Westchester Medical Center and was treated for bleeding on her brain, multiple facial fractures and bruising and lacerations to her head and face, the district attorney's office said.

Esco lived in the same building as his victim, and police said he has a criminal record and previously served time for assault, NBC New York reported.  

Esco was being represented by the Westchester Legal Aid Society, which NBC News has asked for comment.

District Attorney Miriam Rocah touted the plea as a victory against hate, saying: “Today’s agreement secures justice for the brave victim who endured the shocking attack and its aftermath, and for a community impacted by the trauma of this hate-driven violence.

"I want to assure every community in Westchester County that my office will use every resource at our disposal to fight hate and hold perpetrators accountable," she added.