A man has been arrested after assaulting three Asian victims in separate Brooklyn attacks, including a case Monday where he allegedly shoved to the ground a 77-year-old man who was looking at a vegetable stand, officials say.
The victim was checking out a stand in front of J&R NY Supermarket on Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay around 11:15 a.m. that day when a stranger walked up, pushed him to the ground and walked away without saying a words, cops say.
The victim suffered some bruising to his arm but refused medical attention at the scene.
In another attack, which was around 7:45 a.m. on March 22 in Midwood, a man walked up to a 32-year-old Asian woman and grabbed her by the hair. The two were seen struggling on surveillance video as he held his grip. Eventually, he let her go and walked away, punching building façades as he continued down Kings Highway. No words were exchanged in that case either. That victim also refused medical attention at the scene.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force investigated both incidents, and arrested a man Wednesday evening they believe to be responsible for the attacks. Joseph Russo was charged with multiple counts of assault and aggravated harassment as a hate crime, police said.
In addition to those attacks, Russo also faces the same charges for a March 5 incident at Kings Highway and West 6th Street in Gravesend. In that incident, Russo allegedly pushed a 64-year-old Asian woman to the ground, leaving the left side of her body injured.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans have been up in New York City and across the nation in recent weeks. On Tuesday, two doormen who allegedly witnessed a brutal beating of a 65-year-old Asian American woman in midtown Manhattan last month and did nothing to help were fired, their former employer said.