An Asian woman was recently robbed and verbally attacked with racist insults inside a Brooklyn, New York train station.
In what police sources described as a “coronavirus-inspired attack,” 60-year-old Oswald Jones approached and yelled at the victim at about 11 p.m. on Thursday inside the Fort Hamilton Parkway D station in Borough Park.
The 26-year-old victim was reportedly told by Jones to “Get off the train. You Chinese,” and to “go back to China,” police sources told the New York Post.
“Go back to China. Get your temperature checked. You need to leave,” Jones was quoted as saying.
After the verbal abuse, Jones snatched the woman’s cell phone from her hand. Fortunately, the woman was not injured during the incident.
Shortly after the robbery, Jones was arrested and has since been charged with grand larceny and aggravated harassment.
He went to Brooklyn Criminal Court on Saturday and was released without bail, according to the New York Daily News.
The incident is now among the growing list of suspected racist crimes amid the public’s panic over the global spread of COVID-19.