Since January 17, eight New Yorkers of Asian descent have been mugged in East Harlem, including a 57-year-old man who was robbed of his cellphone and $200 after being punched in the face Friday. Ray Kelly stopped short of calling the attacks hate crimes, though he did confirm that the NYPD's hate crimes unit is on the case and that police have identified a suspect — a light-skinned Hispanic man around 6 feet tall and 200-some pounds. At a press conference addressing the incidents, Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito called "the level of violence that has occurred in the last couple of days, particularly against our Asian neighbors" an "extremely alarming" trend and called on community members to "be alert" and to share any information they had with the police. There's a $2,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest.
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