Elderly Filipino killed in Arizona in suspected hate crime


Posted at Mar 08 2021 01:29 PM | Updated as of Mar 08 2021 03:56 PM

(UPDATE) A 74-year-old Filipino was killed in an attack last month in Phoenix, Arizona which advocacy groups fear to be a hate crime.

Juanito Falcon was on his morning walk last February 16 when he was suddenly attacked by suspect Marcus Williams for "no apparent reason," police said. 

He was found with head injuries and died in the hospital two days later, according to a report from NBC News Phoenix. 

"It is in such great sorrow that we are mourning my father's passing. I have a lot of questions. Nobody should experience what happened to my father. I want this incident to be a cause of awareness to everybody," Falcon's daughter Malou Acunin told NBC News.

With the recent spike in hate crimes and violent incidents toward Asian-Americans, advocacy groups like Stop AAPI Hate fear the unprovoked attack on Falcon could be one of such cases.

The 40-year-old suspect has been arrested but police said there was no indication that the attack was a hate crime. 

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Romualdez said the embassy has flagged the rise in attacks against Asian-Americans to American officials and lawmakers. 

The embassy has also sent a note verbale to the US State Department following the attack on another elderly Filipino on a New York subway train last month, he added.

Falcon's family, meanwhile, has set up a Go Fund Me fund raiser for him.

--Report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News

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