A suspect accused of striking an Asian man with a hammer on a Manhattan subway platform on March 8 has been indicted on hate crime charges, the District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.
Christian Jeffers, 48, who identifies as a woman, was arrested a day after the incident had occurred on the 7th Avenue and West 14th Street station on the 1/2/3 line in Chelsea.
Jeffers and the 29-year-old victim reportedly bumped into each other and got into an argument. She allegedly told the victim, “You can’t see me? You don’t have eyes?”
Police said Jeffers then became “irate and aggressive,” pulled out a hammer and struck the victim’s head, as seen in a video filmed by the victim’s companion.
While being arrested, Jeffers allegedly used racial slurs against Asian and Hispanic officers.
She also allegedly threatened to go on a killing spree, saying “By the time I get out of prison, first thing I’m going to do is get a gun and try to kill as many of you as possible.”
Jeffers was indicted on multiple charges. These include first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, second-degree assault, second-degree menacing as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Jeffers was reported to have 52 prior arrests. She spent five years in prison for a 2015 robbery and was most recently released on parole last June.
In a statement, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg assured the public that “hate-driven violence and slurs have no place in New York.”
“Disturbingly, this alleged hate crime was just one in a wave of recent anti-Asian attacks. I want our AAPI neighbors to know that the Manhattan D.A.’s Office is here for you, and we are committed to your safety,” Bragg said.
Jeffers previously pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on a $300,000 bail.
Feature Image via New York Police Department (left), CBS New York (right)