What to Know
- A man who allegedly carried out a series of attacks that police believe may have been racially charged has been arrested
- Four people were attacked at night in Manhattan, and police said the victims may have been targeted because they are white
- In all four occurrences, there were no previous interactions between the suspect and the victim before the assault, and the suspect fled
A man has been arrested on hate crime assault charges after police say he made anti-white comments while hitting a stranger in the face on a downtown Manhattan street and attacked three other people earlier.
Todd Lyons, 33, of Manhattan, was arrested and charged with three counts of hate-crime assault and three counts of assault, the NYPD said on Saturday.
His attorney information wasn't immediately available. It wasn't clear why he wasn't charged for the fourth alleged attack.
Police say four people were attacked at night — the most recent assault coming Aug. 14. Cops said they may have been targeted because they are white.
The attacks started on Aug. 9, when a 56-year-old man was attacked just after 9 p.m. at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 14th Street. The suspect pushed the man to the ground from behind, cutting his head, according to authorities.
The following Wednesday, the same suspect is believed to have attacked twice. Around 8:30 p.m., a 64-year-old woman was walking along Greenwich Avenue in the West Village when the suspect allegedly hit her in the neck and shoulder with a wooden stick.
Just under an hour later, the suspect threw a brick at a 20-year-old woman walking on Wooster Street in SoHo, striking her in the back of the head, police said.
And just last week, officials said a 58-year-old man was on Eighth Avenue and West 18th Street in Chelsea after 11 p.m. when the suspect allegedly punched him in the face and made anti-white statements.
In all four occurrences, there were no previous interactions between the suspect and the victim before the assault, police said, and the suspect immediately fled the area. The victims each suffered minor injuries.
The suspect was seen multiple times on nearby surveillance cameras, and was walking around shirtless following the latest attack.