Attack victims speak at conference

April 2, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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Two Asian-Americans who were recently attacked told their stories at a press conference in Bensonhurst March 29.

The conference, which was hosted by State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, took place on 18th Avenue and 68th Street.

Vanessa Lam, 15, said she was assaulted and spat on by an older man in broad daylight near the conference site two weeks ago.

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“I believe I was targeted because I was Asian-American,” Lam said. “Being hurt is terrifying. Not knowing whether or not you’ll be assaulted is terrifying.”

Vanessa Lam speaks during the conference.

Lam was grateful to receive help from her neighbor Jeana LaDelia, who saw the attack and intervened.

“It’s wonderful for someone who has the power to assist actually assisting because there were other people around and they sort of didn’t care,” said Lam.

“I saw a young girl get spit on and it’s disturbing people will be emboldened to do these types of acts,” LaDelia said.

Maureen Ki said a man spat in her face on 18th Avenue and 73rd Street while she was walking to a senior center.

“I worry about our city,” Ki said. “So many things are happening to [Asian-Americans]. Take care of yourselves. Take care of your neighbors.”

“Throughout the pandemic and before, Asian-American communities have seen an astronomical rise in hate crimes and anti-Asian sentiment,” said Gounardes. “Enough is enough.”

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