QUEENS — A woman was arrested and hit with several hate crimes charges Thursday in connection with a series of anti-Asian assaults in Queens in recent months, the NYPD confirmed Friday.
According to police, Maricia Bell, 25, is believed to be behind at least four attacks around the borough since May.
Back on May 23, the woman allegedly punched a 23-year-old Asian man after yelling “Why are you talking to me?” at him in a Kissena Boulevard parking lot in the Flushing neighborhood.
A few weeks later, on the evening of June 16, police believe Bell assaulted a 34-year-old Asian woman in a bodega.
Nearly a month later on July 11, the same woman allegedly punched a 63-year-old Asian woman in the face near 72nd Avenue in the Pomonok neighborhood, police said.
Most recently, authorities said Bell struck a 75-year-old Asian woman with a hammer in the same area as the previous attack early Wednesday morning.
According to the NYPD, Bell now faces multiple hate crime charges, including assault, harassment and robbery.
Police said Bell has five prior arrests, including for criminal mischief and several assaults.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, 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).