NEW YORK, NY, April 20, 2007 - FIND, Inc. is appalled at the nightmarish event that occurred on March 14, 2007 as a Filipina Catholic-school girl was heavily beaten on a New York City MTA bus and was further ignored by the bus driver who insensitively told her to "Go talk to a priest." 17-year old Marie Stefanie Martinez was attacked by 13 African American teenagers after stepping onto a B82 bus in Brooklyn. After being taunted, being called a "Chink" and being pushed around, Martinez finally decided to fight back and that is when things took a turn for the worse.
Martinez recalls, "They were pulling my hair, pulling my hair, opening my book bag!" she said. "I said, 'Leave me alone. I'm not doing anything to you... That's when they started to crowd around me. [One] boy punched me twice in my face and my mouth."
Fortunately, a man in his 30s currently on the bus intervened and took Martinez away from the group of rowdy teenagers, although afterward she was thoroughly bruised and battered. After notifying the bus driver of what had happened to her she was shockingly told to "Go talk to a priest" without any other effort being done to ameliorate the situation.
After talking with the Martinez family, Martinez's lawyer Rosemarie Arnold stated that the family has decided to sue the MTA. "How did the bus driver let this happen?" Arnold said. "You have 13 kids making a commotion. This guy just turned a blind eye to it."
FIND Inc. National Chairman Steven Raga stated "This attack on Marie Martinez was a blatant act of anti-Asian racism, but not just by the assailants. As the MTA bus driver is responsible for the rights and welfare of those in the vehicle, it is shameful that his cavalier attitude towards this serious matter serves as representation for the New York City MTA. FIND Inc. fully supports Marie Martinez on her lawsuit and hopes for her full and quick recovery."
Please spread the word about this incident as anti-Asian hate crimes such as this are not to be tolerated. FIND, Inc. would like to encourage you to please review and take time to sign the petition linked below targeting the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for accountability.
Thank you for your time in helping in this course of action. For more information on future FIND Inc, programs or events, please visitWWW.FINDINC.ORG.
Steven B. Raga
National Chairman; Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue
National Director, D3; Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue
(917) 392-4546 / (631) 821-4485