A 30-year-old man was arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime on Tuesday after allegedly attacking an Asian woman with a box cutter in Times Square, police said.
Anthony Evans, of Manhattan, was apprehended Tuesday night over what the New York City Police Department described as an unprovoked attack on the 59-year-old victim.
In addition to the hate crime charge, Evans was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the attack, which unfolded at around 10 a.m. Sunday, police said.
It was not immediately clear if Evans has an attorney.
The NYPD had released Evans' name prior to his arrest after asking the public for help identifying the suspect seen in surveillance video ambushing the woman from behind, before slashing her right hand with a box cutter.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, had been pulling a cart and minding her own business when she was attacked, police said.
The woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital and was subsequently released. She was expected to recover from her injuries.
Police had said as recently as Monday that they were not investigating the case as a hate crime, NBC New York reported.
It was not clear what prompted the hate crime charge on Tuesday.
It comes as an analysis of hate crime data published earlier this year by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 339% last year compared with the year prior, with cities including New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles surpassing record numbers in 2020.
The increase was part of an overall 11% rise in suspected hate crimes reported to police in a dozen of the largest cities in the U.S. The report found that Black Americans remained the most targeted group in most cities.