Respect Equality

NY couple facing hate crime charge after alleged verbal attack on family

Story at a glance

  • Liz Edelkind was riding the train with her husband and 10-year-old son after the New York Knicks game on Jan. 10 when a couple began to verbally assault them.
  • The couple, identified as Justin Likerman and Kristin Digesaro, reportedly called the family “foreigners” and threw a beer at them.
  • Likerman and Digesaro are facing charges of aggravated harassment as a hate crime and child endangerment.

A New York couple is facing hate crime charges after police allege they launched a verbal attack on a family on the Long Island Rail Road. 

Liz Edelkind was riding the train with her husband and 10-year-old son after the New York Knicks game on Jan. 10 when they asked some passengers if they would be willing to change seats so they could sit together. A couple sitting nearby then allegedly began to verbally assault the family. 

“The couple started to verbally attack me, calling me curse words, immigrant, that I don’t pay taxes, that I have no rights in this country,” Edelkind told NBC New York. 

The couple is alleged to have continued their tirade, calling the family “foreigners” and throwing a beer at them. The incident was captured on camera. 


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“How dare they assume because I look or sound different that I am not a U.S. citizen,” Edelkind said. 

The couple, identified as Justin Likerman and Kristin Digesaro, reportedly fled when a conductor was alerted. They turned themselves in to the authorities on Wednesday night. 

Likerman and Digesaro are facing charges of aggravated harassment as a hate crime and child endangerment. 

“When I heard they were arrested, I felt validated as a human, as a woman, as a U.S. citizen,” Edelkind said. “Justice prevails.” 


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