New York, NY – A homeless career criminal who was out on bail murdered a 35-year-old Asian woman early on Sunday morning after he saw her getting out of an Uber and followed her into her apartment on the Lower East Side.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said that it was about 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 13 when 35-year-old Christina Yuna Lee arrived home to her apartment in the 100-block of Chrystie Street in Chinatown, FOX News reported.
Surveillance video from Lee’s apartment building showed her getting out of the Uber and going into her building, and then 25-year-old Assamad Nash creeping in behind her, WNBC reported.
“She opened the door, and he just slipped in right behind her. She never even knew he was there,” Lee’s landlord, Brian Chin, described. “She walked up six flights of stairs and this man mercilessly stalked her.”
The video showed that Nash hung back as Lee climbed six flights up to her apartment, staying one floor below her as she went, the Daily Mail reported.
Chin said that when Lee got the front door of her apartment, Nash rushed her from behind as she was unlocking the door.
Neighbors told police they were awakened by blood-curdling screams, the Daily Mail reported.
“Please, help me! Call 911!” they said they heard Lee scream.
One neighbor, 21-year-old Star Fitz, told the Daily Mail that she called 911 and police arrived almost immediately.
But by the time police arrived, Nash had already brutally stabbed Lee and barricaded himself in her apartment.
Police had to use a saw to break into the apartment, the Daily Mail reported.
When they finally got in, they found Lee bleeding to death in her bathtub and Nash hiding under a bed, covered in her blood.
He was arrested and charged with her murder and burglary, the New York Post reported.
“I didn’t kill nobody. I don’t know what’s going on,” Nash yelled at reporters as he was being led to a police car in handcuffs.
It turned out that Nash is a career criminal who was out on bail for several outstanding charges when he murdered Lee, the Daily Mail reported.
Court records showed he has been arrested at least seven times since 2015, and at least four time in the last 12 months.
Most recently, Nash was arrested for assault in September of 2021, and then arrested again for criminal mischief in early January, the Daily Mail reported.
Nash was due to appear in court in March.
His criminal record included charges of assault, intentional damage to property, harassment, resisting arrest, both attempted and successful escape from police officers, and selling a fare card, according to the Daily Mail.
Lee’s landlord pointed the blame squarely at the feet of the new Manhattan district attorney.
“This all could have been avoided,” Chin said. “This guy should never have been out of the street. And it’s DA Alvin Bragg playing politics with people’s lives and the Asian community has been hurt.”
“To have a DA who has won those horrific crimes right on his doorstep. And he doesn’t even bother to show up. It’s disgraceful,” the angry property owner added.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has drawn the ire of crime victims and their families since he was sworn into office last month and announced he planned to seek reduced charges for certain offenses, to stop asking for bail except in the most extreme cases, and to stop prosecuting so-called low-level offenses altogether.
Lee’s Chinatown neighborhood is also located close to the Bowery, an area known for its cluster of food pantries and homeless shelters, the Daily Mail reported.
Residents said too many homeless shelters have been opened up in their neighborhood, making it difficult to live and work safely in the community.
Community maps handed out to the homeless by activists showed there are five homeless shelters within close walking distance of Lee’s apartment building, the Daily Mail reported.
“Now all of a sudden on top of those five shelters they are dumping three more,’ Chinatown activist Jackie Wong said at a rally after Lee was murdered. ‘We’re like enough is really enough. That’s why we are having problems.”