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A man arrested last month in a string of attacks on seven Asian women in New York City has been indicted on felony and misdemeanor hate crimes charges, prosecutors announced Monday.
Steven Zajonc, 28, is charged with six felony counts of third-degree assault as a hate crime and seven counts of second-degree aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor hate crime, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
Zajonc’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Zajonc, whom police arrested March 2, is accused in a three-hour string of attacks targeting Asian women on Feb. 27.
Police said Zajonc punched or otherwise hurt his victims, who were ages 19 to 57, without provocation.
“As alleged, within just three hours, Steven Zajonc selectively ambushed seven Asian women in separate assaults, some of which he struck from behind — for no other reason than their perceived race,” Bragg said in his statement.
Authorities said the first attack happened after 6 p.m. in the Midtown area when the suspect approached a woman, 57, and punched her in the face before he ran off.
Most of the victims sustained bruises and lacerations, Bragg said, and one was knocked unconscious and hospitalized.
Zajonc was arrested when New York Public Library security employees spoke up about a patron who looked similar to a suspect in the attacks, according to police and a library spokesperson.
Police had circulated security video images of a person wanted in connection with the attacks.
Officers were ultimately able to detain the suspect, who barricaded himself at the library, NBC New York reported.
The district attorney’s office has 27 open cases related to anti-Asian hate crime, according to Monday’s statement.
Source: This post first appeared on NBC News