A man has been charged for assaulting two Asian women and hurling anti-Asian comments at them in a New York City subway station last May.
Derrick Johnson, 40, is facing two counts of third-degree assault as a hate crime and two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said during Johnson’s indictment on Wednesday.
Johnson was accused of throwing an unidentified liquid at two women of Korean descent after entering the 47th-50th Streets/Rockefeller Center subway station on May 8. He reportedly proceeded to spit at one of the women and hurl racially offensive remarks at both of them, such as “I don’t know why you’re here.”
Court documents and statements said that Johnson charged at one of the victims, which made her fall down and suffer significant bruising to her legs and arms. She also reportedly sustained pain and swelling to her head and jaw.
In a statement, Bragg said straphangers “of all backgrounds deserve safety when they travel.”
“The rise of bias-driven crimes is unacceptable,” Bragg added. “We are expanding our Office’s Hate Crimes Unit to enhance these prosecutions while increasing community engagement and other preventative measures.”
According to the New York City Police Department’s citywide crime statistics for June 2022, the total number of hate crimes reported in the city between June 1 and June 30 was 59, down by 8 percent compared to last year’s 64 from the same period.
Anti-Asian hate crimes also saw a 43 percent decline, from 14 cases in June 2021 to 8 cases last month.
Featured Image via Tdorante10 (CC BY-SA 4.0)