New York man indicted on hate crime charges for attacks Asian women

Members and supporters of the Asian-American community attend a "rally against hate" at Columbus Park in New York City on March 21, 2021. A person's hand holds a cardboard sign that reads "Stop AAPI Hate" against a fence.

The man accused of attacking seven Asian women in New York earlier this year was indicted on Monday by the state’s Supreme Court. 

Steven Zajonc was indicted on six felony counts of assault as a hate crime and seven counts of aggravated harassment as a misdemeanor hate crime, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

“These attacks on seven New York women, each fueled by anti-Asian hate, are yet another sobering reminder of the demonstrable fears AAPI communities, particularly AAPI women, in our City continue to face,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in the statement. 

In a span of about three hours, the 28-year-old homeless man conducted a series of unprovoked attacks against women in Manhattan. He specifically “approached the women from behind before striking them in the face with a closed fist or his elbow and fleeing the scene,” according to Bragg.

The women were all Asian and between the ages of 19 and 57. Six suffered injuries, such as bleeding lacerations and bruising on their faces, and one was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for a concussion.

Zajonc’s indictment comes as anti-Asian hate crimes have surged in the past year. 

Bragg noted that his office currently has 27 open hate crime cases related to anti-Asian hate crimes. 

Anti-Asian crimes in New York City were also up 361 percent between 2020 and 2021. In San Francisco, hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the last year were up by 567 percent.

Additionally, a survey last month found that nearly 75 percent of women in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community reported experiencing racism and discrimination in the past year.

Tags Alvin Bragg

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