Exclusive: Chinese restaurant manager beaten in video speaks out

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A restaurant owner is speaking out, only to Eyewitness News, after he was brutally attacked trying to defend one of his waitresses.

The victim was so terrified it could happen again, he asked Eyewitness News not to show his face.

All he was thinking was how to protect himself as he was pummeled on East Broadway in Chinatown in broad daylight with a crowd watching.

He endured an endless barrage of blows to the head and body in a seemingly never-evening hail of punches and kicks.

The violent attack was recorded on a cell phone and caught on security cameras.

The exclusive footage obtained by Eyewitness News, shows the 50-year-old restaurant manager, helplessly on his back being beaten to a bloody pulp.

"Now that I have a chance to look back at the tape, now I have a chance to see how scary it was," the victim said.

Exclusive video from inside the restaurant shows the moments before the attack.

The victim says the suspect was sexually harassing one of his female employees and was told to leave, but he didn't go quietly.

He apparently threatened employees at first, and then punched the wall leaving a dent.

Speaking through an interpreter, the victim says he followed that man outside because he spotted who he thought were cops, but they were traffic agents.

"I was expecting the three uniformed officers to just pull this guy away to protect me, but it just didn't happen," the victim said.

Instead, the victim just kept getting pummeled.

He's now left with bruises all over his body and stitches on his head.

Those traffic agents did radio for help and moments later cops arrested the suspect, 33-year-old Montress Gomez.

Community leaders say just before attack last week, Gomez grabbed a woman by the arm at a business next door and asked "how much for one night."

Some say there has been a disturbing trend lately.

The concern is that Asian Americans are easy targets.

"If you call up a Chinese restaurant, take out restaurant, and you order food and they deliver to your lobby, the delivery man is attacked and robbed. Is that a crime of opportunity? Why aren't you calling the pizza parlor? Because the Chinese man they know has a language difficulty so now you're targeting Asians," said Karlin Chan, a community activist.

"I honestly don't know CeFaan. To be perfectly frank it's been a combination of people feeling like they're easy targets, Asian Americans not reporting the crimes when they get targeted," State Assemblyman Ron Kim said.

Elected officials say the issue is two-fold.

Oftentimes Asian Americans can be reluctant to speak out.

Meanwhile, it can sometimes take several minutes for victims with a language barrier to get the right help from 911.

But Assemblyman Kim says Mayor Bill de Blasio told him Friday morning that he's committed to addressing the issue.

"He's willing to make sure that the NYPD has the resources in terms of the language barriers. To make sure that every person that has help, speaking Mandarin who calls 911, they don't have to wait 10 minutes to speak to someone," Assemblyman Kim said.

Kim says the NYPD has been sending the Hate Crimes Bureau to look into these types of incidents.

And after seeing this story on Eyewitness News Thursday night, the Assemblyman says the mayor told him that these incidents will not be tolerated in this city.
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