New York man who mauled elderly Filipina sentenced to 17 years

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2022 05:10 PM

Still image from the surveillance video released by the Yonkers Police Department
Still image from the surveillance video released by the Yonkers Police Department


NEW YORK — A Yonkers court on Tuesday sentenced a resident here to at least 17 years in prison after he was found guilty of brutally mauling an elderly Filipina last March.

Tammel Esco, 42, was ordered to serve a prison term of 17.5 years for assault in the first degree as a hate crime, after he punched his 67-year-old Filipina neighbor in an incident that sent shockwaves around the city and the Asian-American community.

"Today we close a chapter on one of the most vicious and shocking hate crimes we’ve seen in Westchester County," Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah said.

"This is a case that has traumatized not only the victim and her family, but also her neighbors, the Westchester community, and the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community," she added.

Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza said he hoped that through the conviction, "the victim and her family can find some degree of peace now that justice has been served."

"Let this sentence be a clear message to others who would perpetrate violence in our communities, that Yonkers and Westchester law enforcement will commit every resource to hold violent criminals accountable," added Sapienza.

The victim described her mauling as an incident that would forever keep her "on edge."

"A complete stranger heartlessly spit, beat and kicked me over 100 times just because of my heritage. I lost months of my life. I will forever be on edge," she said.

On March 11, Esco yelled at the victim, calling her an "Asian b****" before punching her on the head and several parts of her body, stomping on her, and finally spitting on her.

The mauling, which was caught on video surveillance, immediately prompted authorities to arrest Esco.

"My only hope is that God and the criminal justice system will see fit to make sure this never happens to any other innocent family again," the victim added.

"Ang ganitong gawain ay walang lugar sa ating lipunan," said Johan Tatoy, who represented the victim pro bono. 

(This act has no place in our society.)

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