A man was indicted on hate crime charges for allegedly attacking two women of Korean descent inside the Rockefeller Center subway station while yelling anti-Asian slurs, the Manhattan district attorney announced Wednesday.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a release that Derrick Johnson, 40, was charged with two counts of assault in the third degree as a hate crime and two counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree.
“The subway is central to our city, and riders of all backgrounds deserve safety when they travel,” Bragg said.
“The rise of bias-driven crimes is unacceptable,” he added. “We are expanding our office’s Hate Crimes Unit to enhance these prosecutions while increasing community engagement and other preventative measures.”
Court records claim Johnson threw an unknown liquid at the two women in the subway station on May 8 and spit on them, according to the release. Johnson also reportedly made racially offensive remarks at them.
“I don’t know why you’re here,” he allegedly said.
Johnson charged at one of the women, who fell to the ground and sustained significant bruising to her arms and legs in addition to swelling in her head and jaw, the release stated.
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Dashboard indicates roughly one in every five hate crimes in the city targets Asians, based on a year’s worth of the most recent data.