NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A well known musician has been badly injured after being attacked near his home in Harlem.
Now the community has come together to support him.
As CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports, New York-based Japanese musician Tadataka Unno is a beloved member of the local jazz community. The 40-year-old is a renowned pianist and composer.
“He really took hold of jazz culture and embodied it,” said Jerome Jennings, an instructor at the Julliard School, and a good friend of Unno’s. “He’s played in bands with Roy Hargrove and great Jimmy Cobb.”
Jennings says Unno is now suffering mentally and physically after being attacked unexpectedly.
It happened on Sept. 27 around 7:30 p.m. Jennings says Unnon was exiting the subway station at West 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue when several young people were blocking the turnstiles. Unno attempted to walk around the group, but was yelled at and pushed from behind, eventually punched in the face and body.
“He got up, tried to run, fell again, got back up, tried to run, fell again,” Jennings said.
Jennings says Unno’s wife says there were racial slurs yelled in the process.
“He did hear the word ‘Chinese’ and ‘Asian,'” Jennings said.
Police say no anti-Asian remarks were indicated in the report but the investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made.
As for Unno, he was taken to the hospital for treatment. Jennings says his friend suffered a broken collarbone and multiple bruises.
The injuries Unno sustained were so serious he actually underwent surgery on his shoulder. His family and friends say he’s now in recovery.
According to the NYPD, murders and burglaries were up in September compared to the year before. Assaults were down. Still, this isn’t the first well known person to be attacked in recent days. The NYPD says actor Rick Moranis was randomly attacked by a stranger on the Upper West Side earlier this month.
As for Unno, Jennnings has started a GoFundMe to help. The new father to a baby boy born in June is the sole breadwinner.
“Tada can’t play, and this is his sole income,” Jennings said. “He’s going to need some type of cushion to not worry about it, the medical bills, and he’s going to need therapy.”
In less than a week, the GoFundMe has raised almost $100,000. Jennings says the support is a testament to his friends character.
“Not only does he mean a lot for the community, but also to the jazz community in the states all over the world. The love is pouring in,” Jennings said.
He says Unno is extremely grateful for all the love and support.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
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