Bensonhurst resident Joseph Russo has been charged with hate crimes in relation to three anti-Asian attacks that occurred in April and March.

On Thursday, the 29-year-old was arraigned on a 19-count indictment, charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment in connection with three separate incidents in which he allegedly violently assaulted two Asian women and an elderly Asian man, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced.

Around 9:20am on March 5, at the corner of Kings Highway and West 6th Street, Russo allegedly walked directly in front of a 64-year-old woman and pushed her to the ground, causing the victim to fall and suffer pain to the body. 

Then, on March 22, on Kings Highway near East 13th Street, he allegedly approached a 32-year-old woman as she walked towards the train station and pulled her hair, violently dragging her to the ground and causing pain to the victims back.

On April 5, Russo allegedly approached a 77-year-old man standing outside J & RNY Supermarket and pushed him from behind, causing the victim to fall to the ground and suffer bruising and pain to his hand.  

Gonzalez said surveillance video captured Russo during all three of the alleged attacks, and a detective with the NYPDs 62nd Detective Squad was able to identify him.

Without warning or provocation, this defendant allegedly attacked three innocent strangers because of their race. We have no patience for hate or intolerance in Brooklyn and everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or religion, should feel safe to walk the streets without fear of being senselessly and violently attacked, he said.

He added that his office would work with partners in the community to address the disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

Russo was ordered held on bail of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond and to return to court on July 13.

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