A man who allegedly smeared human feces on the face and head of a 43-year-old woman sitting on a subway station bench has been charged in that attack, and faces hate crime charges for a previous incident.
Frank Abrokwa, 37, of the Bronx, faces a slew of charges including assault, menacing, harassment, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct charges for the vile incident in February, according to the criminal complaint. He was released on his own recognizance by a judge, the Bronx DA's office said.
In the vile Bronx subway incident, a woman was sitting on the bench on the southbound platform at the East 241st Street station around 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 21 when Abrokwa allegedly attacked her.
Police released video that shows the man holding what appears to be a black plastic bag as he approaches the woman. He then mashes the hand holding the bag into her face before running off.
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber criticized the decision to release Abrokwa, saying that it "defies common sense" that he was allowed to go free.
"I'm not a criminal justice expert but I don’t understand how someone who commits this kind of assault – which was violent, horribly victimizing a transit rider – can just walk free even when he has four other open cases against him, including two other transit assaults and a hate crime charge," Lieber said in a statement.
After the arraignment for the grotesque Bronx attack, Abrokwa was then charged by Brooklyn detectives with hate crimes for a prior incident in Crown Heights.
The Brooklyn hate crime charges Abrokwa faces stem from a Sept. 2021 incident in which he allegedly accosted a man, spat on him, called him a "f---ing Jew," threatened to kill him and then tried to punch the man in the chest before chasing him down the street.
Abrokwa was charged with aggravated harassment and menacing as hate crimes for the incident, and was arraigned again Wednesday evening. He was given supervised release, the Brooklyn DA said — meaning he would only have to periodically check in with a supervised release office.
It's the latest disturbing crime to happen in the subway system since the city and state jointly rolled out a new safety plan less than two weeks ago. One of the more brutal recent cases involved a hammer attack on subway stairs that left a New York City health department employee in critical condition. A suspect has been arrested.
According to the criminal complaint, when apprehended, a laughing Abrokwa said to the police "s--t happens" and "this is a s---ty situation."
In addition to the Feb. 21 feces attack, Abrokwa also faces charges for a Feb. 22 incident in the Bronx where he allegedly stole a screwdriver from a store, and then a can of mase from a store employee's hand.
In addition to the two Bronx incidents and the one in Brooklyn, Abrokwa has two pending cases in Manhattan. He was arraigned Feb. 6 on two complaints, one for a misdemeanor assault on Jan. 7, and another for a misdemeanor assault on Feb. 5. In both cases, he is accused of randomly punching people in the face.
None of the charges he has faced qualify for Abrokwa to be held on bail, under the state's bail reform laws. Instead, he was most recently granted supervised release — the same release that Assamad Nash was out on when he allegedly killed Christina Lee after following her into her Chinatown apartment and stabbing her more than 40 times.