The man was approached from behind on an East Harlem corner about 8:20 p.m., struck in the back and, after falling to the ground, kicked in the head multiple times, according to the NYPD.
The attack comes amid a surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans that prompted the NYPD to deploy undercover Asian officers on the streets in an attempt to stem the violence.
The attacker got away, police said. The victim was transported with significant injuries to a hospital in Harlem.
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea on Saturday tweeted a video of the assault and photo of the suspect.
The Senate voted 92-6 to advance a bill Wednesday that would assign a Justice Department official to expedite reviews of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes and establish an online database.
The shootings of six Asian women in the Atlanta area last month drew attention to a spike in anti-Asian violence across the United States.
A survey by the Pew Research Group this week found that 32% of Asian adults fear someone might threaten or physically attack them — and 81% said violence against them is rising.
About 20% of the respondents said former President Donald Trump’s “rhetoric about China as the source of the pandemic” as well as his racist labeling of the coronavirus as the “kung flu” or “Chinese flu” has contributed to the mounting violence, according to the survey.
A report by Stop AAPI Hate cited nearly 3,800 “hate incidents” against Asian Americans from March to February, ranging from verbal harassment to assaults to workplace discrimination.