A Korean man ended up injured after trying to help a homeless man in New York City the day before National Korean American Day.
The incident, which was caught on surveillance video, occurred on East 41st Street and 5th Avenue in Midtown at round 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, according to 1010 WINS.
In the video, the victim, identified by NBC New York as 59-year-old Sang Park, can be seen removing his coat and approaching Xavier Israel, 25, to cover him with the coat.
Israel was sleeping on the sidewalk, but as Park tried to keep him warm, the homeless man suddenly got up and shoved Park to the ground.
Israel allegedly took Park’s wallet, leading to a struggle as seen in the video. Israel punched his victim in the face several times before running away.
Park chased Israel until they reached the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue, where Israel allegedly took the money out of Park’s wallet and kept it in his pants, WABC reported.
Fengliang Wu, who was driving by, saw the chaos and intervened, according to NBC New York.
“They fought with each other for one or two minutes and then the criminal grabbed his money and ran away,” said Wu, who then called 911.
Israel tried to flee but was soon arrested on West 41st Street and 5th Avenue. Police recovered about $1,500 from him.
Park, who suffered injuries, was treated at the scene. He said he simply wanted to keep his assailant warm.
Israel is facing multiple charges, including robbery, grand larceny, assault, menacing, disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal possession of stolen property. He is being held on a $25,000 bail.
Less than a week before the incident, Israel was accused of targeting another good Samaritan. On Saturday, he allegedly punched a 49-year-old woman who tried to offer him assistance, as per the New York Post.
The woman reportedly fell and injured her elbow. Israel was arrested but eventually released on a desk appearance ticket.
On Jan. 2, Israel was also accused of punching two 18-year-olds in Central Park for no apparent reason. He was also arrested for this incident and eventually released.
His lawyer, Brian Kennedy, is demanding for his release under District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s directive to eliminate pre-trial detention in non-major crimes, New York Post reported in a follow-up article.
Immediately after assuming office on Jan. 1, Bragg ordered that defendants have “a presumption of pre-trial non-incarceration in every case,” save for homicides and other major crimes, including violent felonies, sex offenses and public corruption.
Prosecutors cited Israel’s other arrests in Ohio and Pennsylvania and sought a $45,000 bail. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Marisol Martinez Alonso ultimately set it at $25,000.
Mayor Eric Adams reportedly commended Park for doing something “admirable.” However, he also said Israel must be “in a painful place.”
“When you see someone attack someone that helps them, that is a signal that people are in pain,” Adams said, according to WABC. “And we need to alleviate, if not irradiate, that pain that people are experiencing.”
Featured Image via CeFaan Kim
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