Brooklyn man faces hate crime charges in 3 separate attacks on Asian New Yorkers: NYPD


BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn man was arrested and charged Wednesday in three separate incidents of hate crimes against Asian Americans, police said.

Joseph Russo, 28, was charged with three counts of assault as a hate crime, two counts of harassment as a hate crime, as well as a single aggravated harassment as a hate crime charge The charges stem from separate incidents across Brooklyn on March 5, March 22 and April 5.

In the first incident, police said the man shoved a 64-year-old Asian woman to the ground near the intersection of Kings Highway and West Sixth Street, in the Gravesend area, back on March 5.

The attack caused the woman to have pain throughout the left side of her body, officials said.

Just over two weeks later, police said an Asian woman, 32, was walking on Kings Highway near East 13th Street in the Midwood section of Brooklyn on the morning of March 22.

Around 7:45 a.m., she was approached by a man police said they believe to be Russo; he suddenly grabbed her and began pulling her hair, authorities said.

Video released by the NYPD shows the dramatic struggle between the two as the woman tried to get away.

The man eventually relinquished his grip and walked way, without ever saying a word, police said. The woman suffered pain to her head and neck from the attack, but refused medical attention.

While no words were exchanged, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force was notified of the incident.

The assault on Monday happened on Avenue U, near East 14th Street, in Sheepshead Bay just after 11 a.m., according to police.

The victim, a 77-year-old Asian man, was looking at vegetables for sale when he was pushed to the ground by the unidentified attacker, again believed to be Russo, according to authorities. Police said the victim sustained bruising to his left arm but refused medical attention.

The suspect did not say anything to the man and just kept walking, according to police, but the NYPD hate crimes unit launched an investigation.

Prior to his arrest, Russo was last seen on Monday heading eastbound on Avenue U.

The NYPD recently stepped up patrols in Manhattan’s Chinatown and other neighborhoods amid a spike in anti-Asian attacks, including a brutal assault on a 65-year-old woman last week that was caught on video.

The department also deployed undercover Asian police officers and added two more detectives to its Asian Hate Crimes Task Force.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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