A New York man who was caught on video punching an elderly Asian woman 125 times this year was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison in connection with the hate crime attack, officials announced Tuesday.
Tammel Esco, 42, was sentenced to 17.5 years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision in Westchester County Court in connection with the March attack, District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah said at a news conference.
Esco called the woman, who is of Filipino descent, a “Asian b——” during the brutal assault, leaving her with brain bleeding and multiple facial fractures.
He had pleaded guilty to first-degree assault as a hate crime, a violent felony, in September.
“This is a case that has traumatized not only the victim and her family, but also her neighbors in the city of Yonkers, the broader Westchester community and the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community really across the country,” Rocah said.
She said the victim and her family worked with the district attorney’s office as she was recovering from her injuries.
On March 11, the woman was walking into her apartment building on Riverdale Avenue in Yonkers when Esco, who lived in the building and was standing outside in front, yelled at her and used a racial slur, according to Rocah.
He followed her into the building and punched her in the head, knocking her to the ground. He continued to punch her over 100 times, stomp on her body, and spat on her “in a particularly vile act,” according to Rocah. The incident was captured on the security camera in the building.
Esco was arrested on the same day as the attack and has been held without bail since.
Jennifer Wu, one of the pro bono attorneys representing the victim and her family, stated that the victim did not want to reveal her medical condition and requested privacy “as we continue to heal and try to return to our normal lives.”
“We appreciate the community’s love and support, as well as the many people who were outraged by this hateful attack.” “Hate has no place in our society,” Wu stated.
Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza stated that there was no connection between the two and that the incident was a one-time occurrence.
“This was one of the most violent and heinous crimes I’ve ever witnessed in 27 years of policing,” Sapienza said.
The victim appeared in court to read her impact statement, revealing she had to leave her longtime home after the attack and that she feared for her life.
“Because of the viciousness and hate of Tammel Esco, I lost the place I called home for over 24 years, the place where I raised my daughters, and my longtime neighbors,” she said.
“As the attack happened, all I could think was, ‘Please Lord let me live, please Lord my daughters need me,'” she continued. “A complete stranger heartlessly spit, beat and kicked me over 100 times just because of my heritage. … My only hope is that God and the criminal justice system will see fit to make sure this never happens to any other innocent family again.”