Police have arrested the woman they say was seen on camera chucking a bottle at a 37-year-old jogger, yelling a racial slur and telling her to "Go back to Africa" during a confrontation in Queens last month.
Lorena Delaguna was arrested inside her Woodside home Monday morning, according to police. The 53-year-old was charged with second degree assault and attempted aggravated harassment — both as a hate crime.
The NYPD released surveillance video last week in the Aug. 17 attack near 53rd Place and Broadway. It shows a woman walking along a sidewalk around noon, as a Black woman jogs into the frame from the other corner. The other woman appears to yell something at the Black jogger and then throw a glass bottle.
The jogger, Tiffany Johnson, appeared startled for a moment but then continued her run. She wasn't hurt, police said, but Johnson said the woman yelled racial slurs at her.
"I don't like to have that type of energy around me, so I was like OK, I just need to get away from her, and to me walking away was the easiest way of doing that," Johnson told NBC New York, adding that she was concerned for her safety.
However, the video doesn't capture what Johnson said happened next.
"She did follow me, kept pursuing me. People saw it, people were getting upset, somebody even threw a bagel in her direction," Johnson said. "It was scary, I didn't want to see anyone get hurt, I just left."
Prosecutors confirmed Tuesday that the suspect followed Johnson for at least a block while yelling at her and threatening her.
The avid runner said she jogs several times a week, and this incident took place during what was supposed to be a relaxing 5 kilometer run for Johnson.
"At the time, I just wanted to move on with my life and forget it ever happened," Johnson said. "I was glad it got caught (on video) and I could take it to the police."
Neighbors in the area said that they recognized the woman in the video, later identified as Delaguna. Johnson said she has a message for Delaguna if she ever encounters her.
"I would definitely say to her, 'I'm not the n-word. Nobody is the n-word. She needs to do some soul searching as to why she needs somebody to be that because that's not what I am, that's not who we are," Johnson said.
The name of Delaguna's attorney wasn't immediately clear. She faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
“In addition to allegedly yelling the N-word, the defendant in this case is also accused of throwing a bottle in an attempt to strike the victim," Queens District Attorney said in a statement Tuesday. "Crimes like this, which are fueled by hate, are in a special category for a reason. No one should have to endure being called a vile slur or being attacked simply because of the color of their skin, their religion, or who they love."