GOP mayoral hopeful Curtis Sliwa on Thursday called on Asian Americans in the Big Apple to protect themselves in the wake of the fatal subway attack on a 58-year-old mom — while offering a $20,000 reward to solve the case.
Speaking at the Chinatown station where Than Htwe and her son were attacked on July 17, the Guardian Angels founder urged the community to form their own patrols, claiming Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are not doing enough to help.
“I would think the whole city would be up in arms,” Sliwa said. “The entire city.”
“I have not heard a word, not a word, from Cuomo,” he added. “Not a word from de Blasio. We want more police.”
“So, my message to the Asian American community is, because now you’re just a normal stat in CompStat, that you got to learn to fight back,” Sliwa said. “So, I appeal to all Asians — get together, patrol your neighborhoods, look after the elderly, the women, the children.”
Sliwa spoke one day after Htwe, who had been on life support since the underground attack, died after undergoing brain surgery.
Police this week identified the suspect in the case as David Robinson, 52, and called on tipsters to help cops track him down. It’s unclear whether the attack was racially motivated.
Last week, Phil Wong, president of the Chinese-American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, offered a $10,000 reward for Robinson’s arrest and conviction.
On Thursday, Sliwa said New York City media mogul John Catsimatidis has now matched the reward, bringing the bounty on the suspect’s head to $20,000.
“We need to hunt this guy down,” Wong said Thursday. “We need to stop him. All of these racist attacks are no longer on Asians. It’s been everybody: women, children, kids of all races are getting attacked. And this has to stop.”
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, refuted Sliwa’s criticism of the governor’s handling of anti-Asian attacks.
“He’s lying,” he said. “That’s what attention-seeking carnival barkers do.”
De Blasio’s office said in a statement that “all of City Hall was pulling for Than Htwe and we’re heartbroken we’ve lost her.”
“As the mayor said while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Asian American Federation to launch the Partners Against Hate patrols, we must fight hate in New York City with everything we got,” the statement said.
Additional reporting by Julia Marsh and Bernadette Hogan