- A 74-year-old Filipino named Juanito Falcon became the latest victim in what advocacy groups believe is a hate crime
- Investigations showed the elderly Filipino was on a routine morning walk when he was suddenly attacked for no apparent reason
- The suspect, 40-year-old Marcus Williams, was later caught by the police
- Jose Romualdez, the Philippine Ambassador to the US, said he already informed the State Department about the rising incidences of hate crimes against Asian-Americans
Juanito Falcon, a 74-year-old Filipino, fell victim to what advocacy groups say appears to be a hate crime.
The attack, which happened last month in Phoenix, Arizona, eventually caused the untimely death of the elderly Filipino.
Investigations conducted by the local police revealed that Falcon was on his usual morning walk on February 16, when suddenly, suspect Marcus Williams attacked him for “no apparent reason,” ABC15 reported.
According to a KPNX report, Falcon was found with head injuries and taken to a hospital, where he died two days later.
In an interview with the media outlet, the elderly man’s daughter, Malou Acunin, expressed her sorrow and grief, saying that she has lots of questions.
“It is in such great sorrow that we are mourning my father's passing. Nobody should experience what happened to my father. I want this incident to be a cause of awareness to everybody,” Acunin said.
With the increase in violence toward Asian-Americans, advocacy organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate believe the wanton attack on the elderly Filipino could be a case of such.
The police said they have arrested the 40-year-old suspect but authorities say they have no evidence yet that would warrant the incident to belong to the category of a hate crime.
Philippine Ambassador to the US, Jose Romualdez, said they have forwarded information to American lawmakers and officials about the increase in attacks and violence against Asian Americans.
The Ambassador also revealed the Philippine embassy in the US has submitted a diplomatic correspondence to the US State Department following an attack against another elderly Filipino in New York last month.
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Hate crimes have increased in the United States and even in Great Britain as a result of the anti-Asian sentiment over the pandemic. Before his death, a GoFundMe fundraiser, which was established by Falcon’s kin, described the elderly Filipino as a good man and loved by many. His daughter also said that his father would have lived longer if the attack did not happen. Information on the GoFundMe page also said that “daddy Chito,” as what many in his family call him, is chatty and friendly. The fundraiser has a $20,000 goal, of which $12,015 has already poured in.
The increasing incidence of hate crimes in the US is starting to alarm foreigners living and working in the US. In one incident, which was captured on a security camera, a male suspect suddenly pushed a Chinese-looking female to the ground, causing her to sustain some injuries.
In another incident, a male suspect suddenly attacked an 80-year-old Filipina in a trolley in San Diego, California, and repeatedly punched the elderly woman. According to some advocacy groups, one of the possible reasons for the sharp increase in hate crimes is the COVID-19 outbreak, which is known to have come from China, which is a part of Asia.
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