The family of a woman who was fatally stabbed in her Manhattan apartment last year has filed a lawsuit against members of the New York City Police Department and New York City, claiming delays in police assistance and medical care ultimately led to her death.
Christina Yuna Lee, 35, was found dead in her Chinatown apartment in February 2022 after prosecutors say a man followed her home and stabbed her dozens of times.
The lawsuit, filed in New York County Supreme Court on May 12, states unnamed members of the New York City Police Department “unlawfully failed to prevent the assault and battery on Ms. Lee or denied and/or delayed providing medical care to Ms. Lee, leading to her pain, suffering and death.”
The complaint, filed by Lee’s aunt acting as her estate’s administrator, also names New York City as a defendant.
The NYPD declined to comment on pending litigation. New York City’s law department said it’s currently reviewing the complaint.
Lee was followed by a man who forced entry into her apartment around 4:21 a.m. on February 13, 2022, according to the lawsuit. At least one neighbor called police a few moments later after hearing her screams, according to the complaint.
Two NYPD officers arrived at Lee’s apartment door around 4:25 a.m. and heard her yelling for help, according to the complaint. Her screams abruptly stopped, and the officers then spoke with the man through a closed door, the lawsuit says.
“Despite having reason to believe Ms. Lee’s life was in imminent danger, (the two NYPD officers) failed to gain entry to Ms. Lee’s apartment or otherwise provide her with any potentially life-saving police or medical assistance at that time,” the complaint states.
Other NYPD officials did not arrive on scene until about an hour later, despite the police precinct being approximately three blocks away, according to the lawsuit.
“At approximately 5:40 A.M., one hour and twenty minutes after Ms. Lee was first attacked, members of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit forced entry into Ms. Lee’s apartment,” the complaint says.
Lee was found dead with more than 40 stab wounds, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint details nine causes of action, including wrongful death, negligence, denial or delay of medical care and violations of the state constitution. The family is seeking a jury trial, punitive damages against the defendants and unspecified compensatory damages.
City failed to keep nearby park safe, complaint says
The lawsuit also accuses the city of failing to address public safety concerns in a park located across the street from Lee’s apartment. It cites a separate stabbing death that occurred near the park a few months before Lee’s death.
“The dangerous conditions in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, a public park owned, maintained and operated by (New York City), were known to (New York City) and contributed to the harm and suffering of Plaintiff,” the complaint says.
Days after Lee’s killing, Assamad Nash was charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of sexually motivated burglary in the case, according to court documents.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges in March 2022, according to online court records.
Nash is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 30, online records show.∫