The New York Police Department arrested a man they said was responsible for three separate attacks on Asian Americans in Brooklyn, and they are charging him with hate crimes.
Police arrested Joseph Russo, 27, for an attack on a 32-year-old Asian female on March 22.
She said she was walking down a sidewalk when a man grabbed her and wrenched her by the hair. Some of the assault was caught on surveillance video. She said the assault caused her neck and head pain but she didn’t seek medical help. She told police that the man said nothing to her before or during the attack, nor did he rob her, but just walked away afterward.
Russo was charged with assault as a hate crime and harassment as a hate crime.
Police believe that the man is responsible for two other attacks on Asian New Yorkers.
On Monday, a man fitting Russo’s description was caught on surveillance video before allegedly knocking down a 77-year-old Asian man and walking away without saying anything. The victim suffered a bruise on his arm.
Russo was charged with aggravated harassment and assault as a hate crime in that case.
Police alleged that Russo also committed a hate crime against a 64-year-old Asian woman on March 5. That woman was shoved to the ground. He is charged with harassment and assault as a hate crime in that case.
Russo has a lengthy criminal record, according to police, with 14 prior arrests including charges of burglary, assault, public lewdness, drug possession, and criminal trespass.
Some cities are reporting a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. New York City officials said 33 hate crimes against Asians took place through the month of March, a figure that’s threefold from last year.
Many Asian Americans have responded by turning to the Second Amendment for protection against racist attacks.
Here’s a local news report about the arrest:
Suspect Facing Hate Crime Charges In 3 Anti-Asian Attacks In Brooklyn, NYPD Says