A man arrested and charged with stalking and murdering a 35-year-old Asian woman in NYC’s Chinatown last weekend had reportedly been arrested seven times since May of 2021 before he allegedly killed his victim.
Police say Christina Yuna Lee was walking home in the early morning hours on Sunday when 25-year-old Assamad Nash followed her into her apartment and stabbed her to death. Video surveillance footage from inside her apartment building shows Nash stalking Lee down a hallway moments before he allegedly entered her home and killed her with a knife he grabbed from Lee’s own kitchen.
A vigil was held Monday to remember a New York City woman who was followed into her own apartment building and then stabbed to death. The suspect in custody has a long criminal history. @gabegutierrez reports. pic.twitter.com/DnGmr2MUIU— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 15, 2022
Police, responding to a 9-1-1 call made by neighbors who say they heard Lee screaming, entered the apartment to find Lee, who had been stabbed dozens of times, dead on her bathroom floor and Nash covered in blood. The suspect tried to flee down a fire escape but was ultimately arrested following a brief standoff with police.
Records show Nash, who is currently homeless, had been arrested multiple times over the past year, including a Sept. 28 arrested on misdemeanor charges of assault, harassment and aggravated harassment after he reportedly punched a man in the face. He also appears to have skipped his court appearance, as a warrant for his arrest was issued following his November hearing date. He was then arrested in January for criminal mischief and resisting arrest after allegedly vandalizing the MetroCard vending machines at several Manhattan subway stations.
He has now been charged with murder, burglary and sexually motivated burglary in connection with Lee’s murder.
The shocking story comes amid a massive surge in violent crime across The Big Apple and other U.S. cities. In 2021, rapes and murders along NYC's subway system reached their highest rate in 25 years. The city also reported 485 murders, the highest total in 10 years, and more than 1,500 shootings, the highest in 15 years.