Back in March, when this incident happened in Yonkers, New York, I described the circumstances this way.

This brutal attack happened in Yonkers, NY last Friday. It started when 42-year-old Tammel Esco directed a racial slur at a 67-year-old Asian woman as she was walking home with a grocery cart. She ignored him and entered the front doors into a small vestibule and then pulled out her keys to unlock the inner door. Esco then entered and hit her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground. Surveillance video shows he then leaned over her and punched her in the head 125 times. After more than a minute of throwing punches he then stood up and stomped on her face with his foot several times and spit on her.

The video of the attack was everywhere and it was condemned by everyone from the governor of New York on down. As you can see, this was a merciless attack that could easily have resulted in the victim’s death.

Tammel Esco was arrested shortly afterwards and has been in jail ever since. Today Esco was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison as part of a plea deal reached earlier.

Tammel Esco, 42, was sentenced to 17.5 years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision in Westchester County Court in connection with the March attack, Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced in a news conference.

In the brutal assault he called the woman of Filipino descent an “Asian b—-” and she was left suffering bleeding on her brain and multiple facial fractures.

He had pleaded guilty to first degree assault as a hate crime, a violent felony, in September.

The length of the sentence is one of the things that Esco agreed to back in September when he pleaded guilty so none of this comes as a surprise. What I don’t understand is why anyone offered to make Esco a deal in the first place. He was initially charged with attempted murder as a hate crime and given the duration of the attack and the relative size and age of the victim that seems justified. He also has a long record of other violent crimes:

The suspect is charged with attempted murder as a hate crime and has a long criminal history, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday…

“We’re gonna file this as a hate crime, and we’re charging attempted murder based on the number of strikes and the length of the attack,” Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller said.

Esco has 14 arrests and multiple convictions on his record, Mueller said.

In Feb. 2021, Esco pushed a woman through a plate glass window. She was not seriously hurt, but Esco was given conditional discharge and no jail time. CBS2 learned Esco entered a five-month inpatient program for substance abuse after his arrest last year. He previously served 42 months in prison for a 2010 stabbing.

But the plea deal resulted in him pleading guilty to first degree assault. Why make a deal when the entire attack is on video and there’s no doubt about guilt? I guess what I’m suggesting is that a jury might have been inclined to give this guy more than 17 1/2 years. The only explanation I can think of is that the victim did not want to have to go through a trial. Maybe she didn’t want her name or face to get out in public and asked that it be handled this way. I don’t know if that’s the case but she did make an appearance at the sentencing where she read an impact statement and said she felt lucky to be alive:

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.”

Seventeen years doesn’t seem like enough for a crime that was motivated by nothing other than Esco’s racist hatred of Asian people, a crime in which he targeted an elderly woman half his own size. As it is, he’ll be out by age 60, assuming he doesn’t get some kind of time off for good behavior. Here’s a local news report on the case.

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