- Christian Jeffers, 48, has been charged with hate crimes for allegedly striking a 29-year-old Asian man in the head with a hammer on a Manhattan subway platform on Tuesday.
- Police sources say Jeffers, who identifies as a woman, has 47 prior arrests and is currently on supervised release for a second-degree robbery conviction.
- The victim, who was treated at a hospital, claims Jeffers intentionally bumped into him after harassing someone else on the platform.
- According to a criminal complaint, during her arrest she used racial slurs against an officer and threatened them, “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.”
- The incident adds to the list of violent attacks against Asian Americans in New York City, sparking calls for heightened security measures and improved criminal justice policies.
An individual wanted for hitting an Asian man with a hammer on a Manhattan subway platform has been charged with hate crimes and ordered held on a $300,000 bail on Friday.
Christian Jeffers, who reportedly identifies as a woman, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the attack, which occurred on the 7th Avenue and West 14th Street station on the 1/2/3 line in Chelsea on Tuesday night.
Jeffers, 48, and the unidentified victim, 29, reportedly bumped into each other and got into an argument. Jeffers, who became “irate and aggressive,” then pulled out a hammer and struck the victim’s head, police said.
Authorities charged Jeffers with assault, aggravated harassment and menacing, which were all classified as hate crimes. She was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) March 9, 2022
According to a criminal complaint, during her arrest she used racial slurs against an officer and threatened them, “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.”
Police sources described Jeffers as a “transit offender” with 47 prior arrests. Her rap sheet reportedly dates back to 2007 and includes charges of drug possession, grand larceny, prostitution, public lewdness and theft of service.
Last June, she completed a nearly six-year prison sentence for a second-degree robbery conviction. She is still on supervised release for that case, which is set to expire in September 2024.
It’s unclear what exactly led to her hate crime charges. Speaking to NBC New York on Wednesday, the victim accused Jeffers of intentionally bumping into him after harassing someone else.
“He [sic] turned around, trying to get in my face, get in my face aggressively,” the victim told the outlet. He then recalled Jeffers as saying, “Don’t you see me walking here? Don’t you have eyes? Open your eyes!”
The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He is now understood to be in recovery.
The incident adds to the series of violent attacks against Asian Americans in New York City, particularly on subway stations. Since the fatal shoving of Michelle Go, calls for heightened security measures have intensified, prompting Mayor Eric Adams to announce a ”Subway Safety Plan” and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to test platform barriers by 2024.
The fact that Jeffers is a repeat offender — similar to suspects accused in the murders of Go and Christina Yuna Lee — also raises concerns on local criminal justice policies, which may become more lenient with the creation of a new anti-incarceration division under the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. However, the office pointed out that incarceration “will continue to be an available outcome for the most serious offenses, particularly for those who commit violent crimes.”
A judge reportedly set Jeffers’ bail to $300,000. It’s unclear whether the 48-year-old has hired an attorney.
Featured Image via New York Police Department (left) and CBS New York (right)