Life for immigrants and foreign national in America can be a mix of ups and downs. Unfortunately, one Chinese resident of New York recently found that he couldn’t get sufficient of either to extract him from a tricky predicament.
Ming Kungchen, a native of Fuzhou province who had been working as a delivery man for a New York restaurant for the last two years, was rescued during the early hours of Tuesday morning after spending three and a half days trapped in a malfunctioning elevator.
Ming was released from Montifiore Medical Center Shortly after his ordeal ended. Reports said that he was suffering from dehydration but was otherwise well.
Ming was reported missing by colleagues after he did not return after a late night delivery the preceding Friday and his bicycle was found outside the address given for the delivery.
Efforts to ascertain exactly what had happened to Ming were hampered by language difficulties. It is reported that he speaks only limited English.
Prior to his rescue, the local Chinese community had feared that Ming might have been abducted by a people smuggling rings because such rings are known to use kidnapping and intimidation as means of extorting money from friends and relatives.
Like many Chinese workers in the US, much of Ming’s family had remained in China and have little protection from extortion by this type of criminal group.
There were also strong Concerns for Ming safety as it was feared that he could have been the victim of a robbery. Ming was reportedly carrying approximately $US200 at the time of his disappearance.
It was feared that Ming might have met the same fate as Huang Chen, a young Chinese delivery boy working for a New York restaurant, was beaten to death a group of American youths who they lured him to an apartment with a fake order.
Huang’s killing shocked both the local indigenous community and the local Chimes community because of its extreme brutality, but was only one in a string of violent attacks on Chinese restaurant delivery men in the New York area.
Previous of violence against Chinese delivery workers include:
Li Zhenlin Shot to death during a robbery on 18 July, 2003
Jian Chunlin. Shot to death 15 October 2002
Wu-Ching Wang, badly beaten 20 2001 March
Jin-Sheng Liu, beaten to death while making a delivery 1 September 2000
Many feel that delivery men for native Chinese restaurants are more likely to be targeted for robbery than other delivery workers because they often deliver to areas that are considered too dangerous by indigenous restaurants, and because they are perceived to be carrying large amounts of money with them.