NEW YORK, April 5 (CSU) — The Manhattan district attorney said Monday that a man has been charged with “hate crimes” for physically assaulting seven Asian women in New York over the course of three hours in February.
According to Alvin Bragg, Steven Zajonc, 28, attacked and beaten women in the eastern and central portions of Manhattan between 6 and 9 p.m. on February 27.
“For no other reason than their perceived race,” Bragg stated, Zajonc “selectively ambushed seven Asian ladies in different attacks, some of whom he attacked from behind.”
Before departing the scene, the suspect punched the victims “in the face with a clenched fist or his elbow,” according to the DA. Her attacker “shoved… to the ground” one of them.
“These assaults on seven New York women, each fuelled by anti-Asian hatred, are just another sad reminder of the tangible threats” that the Asian-American community suffers, said Bragg, Manhattan’s first African-American district attorney.
All of the victims had face injuries, and one was sent to the hospital with a concussion.
Security camera video and testimony from workers of the New York Public Library, where one of the assaults occurred, helped New York police identify Zajonc.
According to the prosecution, the suspect was detained on March 2 and charged with “assault in the third degree as a hate crime” and “aggravated harassment in the second degree.”
Bragg said that his staff was looking into 27 anti-Asian hate crimes.
He claimed in February that the number of investigations into crimes against Asian-Americans — 33 at the time — had never been higher since a special unit was established in Manhattan in 2010.
Since the commencement of the coronavirus epidemic in 2020, racially motivated assaults against Asian people have intensified in the United States.
Some have accused former President Donald Trump’s remarks about the “Chinese virus,” which he made public.
Against the background of increased crime in New York since 2020, officials are pointing to psychiatric abnormalities in many attacks, such as an Asian lady who died in January after being shoved into subway lines by a guy with mental health concerns as a train approached the station. Agence France-Presse
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