JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) -- Police are investigating an attack in Queens as a possible hate crime after an Asian woman was hit in the head with a rock.
Authorities say the incident happened Friday on 89th Street in Jackson Heights just after 8 a.m.
The victim, 61-year-old GuiYing Ma, went outside and started sweeping the sidewalk outside her apartment.
Eyewitness News was told she was just trying to be helpful. It was not her job. It was her helpful nature.
While innocently trying to make her block just a little nicer, police say 33-year-old Elisaul Perez came up and bashed her head with a rock.
Ma was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where she is listed in critical condition, but is expected to survive.
"I feel so guilty because she's helping me. She's helping me to sweeping but now she faces such an accident -- I feel so guilty, I feel so sick," landlord Yihung Hsieh said.
Hsieh is broken hearted. His gentle tenant and friend has still not regained consciousness after the vicious attack.
"She's not awaken yet. Her head was under surgery. She's still not awaken," the victim's husband Zhanxin Gao said.
"She's so sweet. She helps the friends, neighbors, she helps everybody," the victim's sister Jing Zhang said.
Perez was arrested and charged with assault in the first and second degree and criminal possession of a weapon.
It's unknown if the victim was targeted due to her race, but police say the attack is being investigated by the Hate Crimes Task Force as a possible bias crime.
It's not clear if the system will release Perez before the victim recovers at the hospital.
The landlord has set up a GoFundMe page to help the humble couple pay for all their medical expenses.
"I treat her like my family. I feel so bad now. I really want her to recover soon," Hsieh said.
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