Westchester DA Mimi Rocah and team on Nov. 29, 2022

Nov. 29, 2022 – Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah and Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza announced that Yonkers resident Tammel Esco, 42, was sentenced on Nov. 29, 2022, to 17 ½ years in state prison for the March 2022 violent hate crime against a 67-year-old Asian woman in Yonkers. The defendant, who pled guilty on Sept. 27, 2022, to Assault in the First Degree as a Hate Crime, a violent felony, has been held without bail since his arrest by the Yonkers Police Department on March 11, 2022, the day of the attack.

DA Rocah said: “Today we close a chapter on one of the most vicious and shocking hate crimes we’ve seen in Westchester County. The successful prosecution of this case is the result of the courage and cooperation of the victim and her family, the partnership of the Yonkers Police Department, and our dedicated team who worked tirelessly on behalf of the victim. 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. As Westchester DA, I remain unequivocally committed to seeking justice for victims of violent crime and fighting hate in all forms.”

Commissioner Sapienza said: “Tammel Esco brutally assaulted an innocent victim in a hate-filled attack; he will now spend the next seventeen years of his life in prison as a consequence of his actions. I only hope 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. I extend my sincere gratitude to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case with maximum effort, and our Yonkers Police Officers and Detectives for their diligent response and investigation.”

On March 11, 2022, at approximately 6:07 p.m., the defendant yelled at the victim, who is of Filipino descent, that she was an “Asian bitch.” The defendant then approached the victim from behind as she entered the vestibule of her apartment building on Riverdale Avenue in Yonkers and punched her in the head, knocking her to the ground. The defendant continued to punch the victim more than 100 times, repeatedly stomped on her upper body in his construction boots, and then spit on her. The victim and defendant both lived in the same building.

The Yonkers Police Department arrested the defendant shortly after the incident, which was captured on video surveillance.

The victim was transported to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where she was treated for bleeding on the brain, multiple facial fractures, and bruising and lacerations to her head and face.

The victim appeared in court to read her impact statement: “Because of the viciousness and hate of Tammel Esco, I lost the place I called home for over 24 years, the place where I raised my daughters, and my longtime neighbors... As the attack happened, all I could think was, ‘Please Lord let me live, please Lord my daughters need me.’ A complete stranger heartlessly spit, beat and kicked me over 100 times just because of my heritage... 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.”

In accordance with his sentence, the defendant will also be subject to five years of post-release supervision.

The case was before Judge Anne Minihan in Westchester County Court, and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Catalina Blanco Buitrago of the Trials and Investigations Division.

If you are a victim or witness to a hate crime or bias incident, please contact the District Attorney’s Office at (914) 995-TIPS (8477).

You may also go to Facebook to watch the full announcement.


Anna Young, Public Information Officer
(914) 995-6551