Manhattan DA scraps $20K bail of Florida woman held for pepper-spraying Asians, results in release

  • Madeline Barker, 47, was charged with 12 counts of hate crimes after allegedly pepper-spraying a group of Asian women in New York City on June 11.
  • Nicole, one of Barker’s alleged victims, told NextShark that the then-unidentified suspect told her group of friends “Go back to the country you came from” and “You don’t belong here.”
  • On Wednesday, a Manhattan judge approved the District Attorney’s Office and Barker’s attorneys' new bail application, which would place the alleged attacker under supervised release.
  • Barker will reportedly be placed under The Women’s Project, a community that seeks to permanently decrease the number of women in city jails and state prisons.
  • Despite admitting to being involved in the incident, Barker pleaded not guilty to her charges and will return to court on Oct. 27.

The Florida woman charged with hate crimes for pepper-spraying a group of Asian women in New York City last month will reportedly be released from Rikers Island after her bail was scrapped.

Madeline Barker, 47, of Florida’s Merritt Island, was arrested nearly a week after the alleged incident at the intersection of 14th Street and Ninth Avenue in Chelsea on June 11.

One of the alleged victims, Nicole, told NextShark that it all started when she and her friends, who were walking around the area, stopped to rest near a woman in pink, who then allegedly accused them of “trying to harass me.” 

Nicole said the woman told them “Go back to the country you came from” and “You don’t belong here.”

Videos taken with cell phones during the incident show the woman in question holding what appears to be pepper spray. She seemingly threatens those around her, who in turn try to maintain their distance.

Barker, who has been detained since June 17, admitted to being the woman involved in the incident. She was later indicted on eight counts of assault in the third degree as a hate crime, as well as four counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree, which is a misdemeanor hate crime.

However, she is now expected to be freed after being held on a $20,000 bail. On Wednesday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michele Rodney approved a new bail application proposed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s Office and Barker’s defense attorneys, according to the New York Post.

Barker will reportedly be placed under The Women’s Project (TWP), a community that seeks to permanently decrease the number of women in city jails and state prisons. According to its website, TWP is part of a larger partnership between nonprofits Wildcat and The Fedcap Group, public defenders and district attorney offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

While on release, Barker will be under strict electronic monitoring. She will also receive “supportive housing so that her location will be known, regular check-ins and accompaniment to each court appearance to ensure her return to court,” according to Bragg’s office.

It is unclear whether Barker has already been released. While she admitted to being involved in the incident, she pleaded not guilty and will return to court on Oct. 27.

Featured Image via Nicole for NextShark

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