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Local Leaders Denounce Brutal Assault of 61-Year-Old Asian American Woman in North Corona

Zhanxin Gao visits his wife Guiying Ma, who is in a coma after being attakced by a man with a rock last week (GoFundMe)

Dec. 1, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A 61-year-old Asian American woman was brutally assaulted in North Corona last week in what local leaders are saying was a racist attack.

Queens officials and Asian American organizations gathered outside the Flushing branch of the Queens Public Library Tuesday to denounce recent attacks against Asian Americans, including the assault against 61-year-old Guiying Ma who was randomly beaten with a large rock in North Corona on Nov. 26 — as well as another assault against an Asian teen, Christina Lu, in Philadelphia last month.

Congress Member Grace Meng, Assembly Member Ed Braunstein, State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, Council Member Peter Koo and Council Member-elect Sandra Ung spoke at the rally to denounce Asian hate.

“From Guiying Ma in Corona to Christina Lu in Philadelphia, our community has been the victim of brutal attacks over the past week,” Ung said in a statement following the rally. “Today, we stood together in solidarity against hate and to declare that this is our home, that we belong here.”

Ma was sweeping outside her home at the corner of 38th Avenue and 97th Street at around 8 a.m. when a man — a complete stranger to Ma — approached her and began beating her with “a large rock” in the face and head, police said.

The man, identified by police as 33-year-old Elisaul Perez of Brooklyn, continued to strike Ma until she was knocked unconscious, police said. She sustained substantial swelling and lacerations and was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where she remains in a medically induced coma.

Victim Guiying Ma in her hospital bed (GoFundMe)

Ma, a Chinese immigrant, suffered serious brain bleeding and damage and needs to undergo surgery, according to a GoFundMe set up by a family friend to raise funds for her medical care.

Police arrested Perez on charges of felony assault and harassment. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assault but has not yet determined if it was racially motivated.

The GoFundMe had raised more than $110,000 by Wednesday to help Ma, who has no health insurance and lost her job during the pandemic, according to her family.

Ma has also received an outpouring of support from local elected officials.

State Sen. John Lui visited her in the hospital Tuesday alongside her husband, and only relative in the U.S., Zhanxin Gao.

“As Mrs. Ma remains in a coma from the barbaric assault on her, her husband Mr. Gao suffers unspeakable agony and grief,” Lui said in a statement. “He thanks the community, the doctors, and the hospital for their care and support.”

Legislators also held a silent vigil in support of Ma’s recovery outside Elmhurst Hospital on Nov. 28. Meng, Ung and Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas were among the attendees.

Guiying Ma pictured before the brutal Nov. 26 attack (GoFundMe)

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Barbara McMillan

My heart goes out to her and her family. Such a senseless act! Unbelievable behavior. He shouldn’t be among us, that’s for sure!

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