What to Know
- Manuel Israel admitted to robbing five Chinese women and trying to rob a sixth in the span of a month last year
- All of the robberies were in Brooklyn; three of the victims were injured
- Israel faces 12 years in prison when he is sentenced next month
A 21-year-old man faces more than a decade in state prison for robbing five women of Chinese descent and attempting to rob a sixth in Brooklyn in a span of a month last year, targeting the victims because of their race.
Manuel Israel, of Manhattan, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Brooklyn court to second-degree robbery as a hate crime. The judge indicated he would sentence Israel to 12 years in prison at his hearing next month.
Israel admitted that he robbed five Chinese women, ages 21 to 43, in Borough Park in March and April of 2015, prosecutors said. All of the robberies happened around Fort Hamilton Parkway between 55th and 71st Streets.
In each case, Israel approached the victim from behind and knocked her to the ground by pulling on her handbag. He then demanded the victim give him all her money, grabbed her handbag and ran off. Three victims were injured.
The investigation revealed Israel selected Chinese women because he perceived them to be vulnerable to attack.
"This defendant specifically robbed Chinese women because they walked alone and he believed they wouldn’t fight back or be able to identify him,” said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “Hate crimes based on a person’s race, gender, sexual identity or ethnicity destroy the fabric of our communities and will not be tolerated."