Before you read:
A 53-year-old Cambridge man is set to appear in Boston Municipal Court in connection with two random attacks on Asian American women in Chinatown and Downtown Crossing last year.
Alexander Ivanenko was charged with assault and battery on a person over 60 causing injury, assault and battery, two counts of assault and battery to intimidate and two counts of civil rights violation with injury, according to Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden’s office.
He is accused of separately approaching two victims, who he did not know, and punching them both in the face on April 2, 2022.
The first alleged attack occurred at about 1:14 p.m. when an elderly Asian American woman was walking on Harrison Avenue toward Marginal Road in Chinatown. The woman told police that the attacker punched her and left the scene.
The second alleged attack took place at about 3:24 p.m. in Downtown Crossing. The victim also told police that she was punched by a man who then fled.
“The attacks against these two women were utterly unprovoked and are an intolerable local manifestation of a disturbing trend we’re witnessing across the nation,” District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement, according to the Boston Herald. “These incidents provide a stark example of the way careless and inflammatory national rhetoric can lead to dangerous local repercussions.”
Ivanenko was arrested after police reviewed surveillance footage from both incidents and identified him to be the same man.
He was arraigned in December 2022 and was ordered held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
“He was also ordered to stay away from the victims and the locations of the attacks,” officials stated.
Ivanenko is set to appear in Boston Municipal Court’s Central Division on Jan. 26 for a pre-trial hearing.
“The disturbing rise in hate crimes that we’ve seen over the last several years across the country, specifically targeting the AAPI community and immigrant neighbors during the pandemic, are hate crimes, un-American, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Boston City Council President Ed Flynn said, according to the Boston Herald.