A Grand Island man has been charged with assault as a hate crime for hitting a woman of Asian descent with a pool cue and hurling racial slurs at her while inside a dive bar last month.
Charles Vacanti, 46, is accused of assaulting an Asian woman in San-Dees Pub in Grand Island, New York,on March 19, according to Sheriff John C. Garcia. Vacanti was arrested on April 20.
Speaking at a press conference last week, Garcia said Vacanti hurled racial slurs at the woman before hitting her with a pool cue.
“They did not know each other,” Garcia stated. “Now how they came about the altercation, that’s something I’d rather not comment on right now. What I could tell you is prior to the defendant striking the victim, he did use some racial slurs and then struck the victim.”
The Erie County District Attorney’s Office said the victim suffered pain and swelling to her nose and mouth, as well as a cut on her upper lip. She received stitches for her injuries.
Witnesses told the district attorney’s office that Vacanti fled the scene after the assault.
Garcia said authorities are looking into alcohol as a potential factor that led to the attack. He also added that they are unsure if Vacanti and the victim went to the dive bar alone or with others.
Vacanti has been charged with a Class C felony of assault in the second degree as a hate crime and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor.
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