D.A. Bragg Announces Hate Crime Murder Charges in Anti-Asian Attack of Yao Pan Ma in East Harlem

February 10, 2022

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the indictment of JARROD POWELL, 50, for brutally assaulting Yao Pan Ma, a 61-year-old Chinese immigrant, in East Harlem on April 23, 2021, causing his death eight months after the attack. POWELL is charged in an New York State Supreme Court indictment with Murder in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime. [1]
“The devastating death of Yao Pan Ma, a beloved father of two, occurred amidst a surge of anti-Asian attacks targeting our families, friends, neighbors, and New York values,” said District Attorney Bragg. “As alleged, Jarrod Powell selectively attacked Mr. Ma for no other reason than his race. Tragically, our Office is currently prosecuting 33 hate crime cases driven by anti-Asian bias – unfortunately, the most we have had since our Hate Crimes Unit was established in 2010. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we, as prosecutors and as New Yorkers, remain vigilant and forcefully reject bias-fueled crimes in our communities. My Office is a safe place to report crimes regardless of your immigration status. If you have been a victim or witness to a hate crime or bias incident, please call our Hate Crimes Hotline at 212-335-3100.”

According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, at approximately 8:15 p.m. on April 23, 2021, POWELL observed Mr. Ma, who weighed 114 pounds, on the corner of 125th Street and 3rd Avenue. POWELL ran up to Mr. Ma from behind and struck him, knocking him to the ground. POWELL then stomped on Mr. Ma’s head multiple times and repeatedly kicked him in the head, face, and neck. The defendant fled the scene as Mr. Ma lay unconscious on the corner of 125th Street and 3rd Avenue.
An MTA bus driver, who was stopped at a traffic light and witnessed the attack, flagged down a nearby ambulance. EMTs found Mr. Ma and transported him to Harlem Hospital, where he was treated for facial fractures and bleeding on the brain. As a result of the attack, Mr. Ma sustained a traumatic brain injury and was placed on life support. POWELL evaded authorities for four days until he was identified through video surveillance and apprehended by the NYPD on April 27, 2021.
Following his arrest, POWELL made statements to law enforcement in which he claimed to have been attacked by two Korean or Japanese men the day before he attacked Mr. Ma. Subsequently, the defendant admitted that he did not report the alleged robbery to police and did not provide a description of his alleged assailants beyond their racial identities. Mr. Ma remained hospitalized until he died from his injuries on December 31, 2021. 
The Manhattan D.A.’s Office currently has 33 open hate crime cases related to anti-Asian hate crimes. The Manhattan D.A.’s Office prosecuted nearly four times more anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021 than in the previous year, along with a significant increase in anti-Asian hate crimes investigations.
Assistant D.A. Molly Presant is handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Hannah Yu (Chief of the Hate Crimes Unit), Assistant D.A. Robert Ferrari (Chief of Trial Bureau 40) and Executive Assistant D.A. Joyce Smith (Chief of the Trial Division). Assistant D.A. Eli Crozier (Trial Bureau 40) also assisted with the case.
D.A. Bragg thanked Detective Lamount Deaderick of the 25th Precinct Detective Squad, as well as members of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, for their assistance with the investigation.
Defendant Information:
New York, NY

  • Murder in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime, one count

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.