On a subway car in Manhattan early Sunday, a man made anti-Asian statements and tried to remove a nurse of Filipino descent from the train.
"Hey Chinaman, you're infected," the man said, according to police. "You need to move to a different car. I'm going to beat this Chinese n------ up."
He grabbed the 30-year-old male nurse by his wrist and shoulder and tried to remove him from the car, police told NBC Asian America.
The nurse was uninjured and refused medical attention, police said.
The incident comes as reports of hostility and harassment directed toward Asian Americans have risen dramatically, as people across the country have been quick to blame them for the spreading coronavirus. In a four-week span beginning near the end of March, the STOP AAPI HATE reporting center received nearly 1,500 reports of coronavirus-fueled discrimination toward Asian Americans.
Last month, Senate Democrats called on the federal government to act in response to the wave of anti-Asian sentiment. The lawmakers pointed to racially charged language that has been used by prominent national figures, including President Donald Trump and other high-ranking Republicans, who have referred to the virus as the "Wuhan virus" and the "China virus." Since 2015, the World Health Organization has warned against using geographic or national terms to describe disease outbreaks.
The aggressor fled after the incident, which is being investigated by the New York Police Department's Hate Crime Task Force.