What to Know
- Man was charged with numerous crimes including attempted murder as a hate crime after he allegedly stabbed woman on Brooklyn subway platform
- Prosecutors say that during the attack Aleksejs Saveljevs, 33, and of Brooklyn, yelled anti-black slurs
- The attack left the 57-year-old black woman with a collapsed lung, prosecutors say
A man was arraigned on a 23-count indictment charging him with attempted murder as a hate crime and other charges after he allegedly stabbed a black woman on a Brooklyn subway platform while yelling anti-black slurs.
Aleksejs Saveljevs, 33, and of Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, was arraigned Tuesday, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced. He was ordered held on $250,000 bail and to return to court on Sept. 20.
Attorney information for Saveljevs was not immediately available.
“This was a frightening, unprovoked attack on a woman who was allegedly targeted because of her race. We will now seek to bring this defendant to justice to keep the public safe. As intolerance is increasingly accepted and individuals brazenly act on racial animosity, we will be vigilant in prosecuting bias-motivated crimes,” Gonzalez said.
Citing the investigation, Gonzalez said that on Nov. 9, 2018, at around 7:30 p.m., inside of the Church Avenue subway station, a 57-year-old black woman who had just gotten off the Q train was walking on the platform towards the station exit when Saveljevs allegedly approached her from behind, grabbed her and repeatedly struck her about the shoulders and upper back.
Prosecutors say that a good Samaritan approached and attempted to help, asking: “What is going on here?” and that is when Saveljevs allegedly replied: “You [expletive] Black [expletive].”
Prosecutors say the good Samaritan helped the victim up the stairs and shielded her from Saveljevs. Saveljevs ended up fleeing the scene after the good Samaritan allegedly told him to back off, prosecutors say.
Although the alleged victim managed to go up the stairs, she started to spit up blood, but was subsequently examined at the scene by emergency medical personnel, filed a police report and went home, prosecutors say.
Later that night, the alleged victim began to vomit as she was trying to sleep, noticed blood on her sheets and realized she had been stabbed in her back, according to prosecutors, who say she called 911 and was taken to Kings County Hospital where she was treated for a collapsed lung.
According to prosecutors, a couple of days later, while going through items she was carrying during the assault, the woman found a screwdriver inside of her lunch bag that didn’t belong to her and called police.
Prosecutors say that Saveljev’s DNA, which was stored in the city’s database following an unrelated arrest, was recovered from the screwdriver.
In a seperate incident on Nov. 8, 2018, the day before the alleged stabbing, Saveljevs also attacked a 29-year-old off-duty officer, leaving him with a broken cheekbone, has been arrested, the NYPD said.