Police say the Asian man was walking on the sidewalk at around 6:20 p.m. when he was approached from behind by an attacker who stabbed him in the torso “with an unknown sharp object” before fleeing.
The victim was taken to an area hospital and is in critical condition, the NYPD said.
The suspect, 23-year-old Salman Muflihi, was arrested at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and remains in custody, according to the NYPD.
The stabbing is the latest violent incident against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The string of recent attacks across the country has Asian communities on high alert and has galvanize a movement to denounce the assaults.
The second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime charge was added on Friday to other charges Muflihi is currently facing, including assault, forgery and criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said.
CNN is attempting to contact an attorney for Muflihi.
On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio commented on the stabbing incident, citing the “horrible act of violence against an Asian American man out of nowhere, just pure hatred.”
“What an injustice on every level,” he said. The Asian community “has been through so much and suffered so much discrimination during the Covid era,” he said.
De Blasio is encouraging the public to attend a rally at 1 p.m. Saturday at Federal Plaza in New York City to “support this effort in any and every way, because we have to stop hate.”