A Brooklyn man has been arraigned today on a 19-count indictment for allegedly assaulting and menacing three Asian Americans in three separate attacks over the course of a month, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.
Joseph Russo, 29, of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, “is charged with second-degree assault, third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and related charges before Brooklyn Supreme Court,” according to the news release.
“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,” DA Eric Gonzalez said. “We will continue to work with our partners in the community to address this disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and bring the perpetrators of bias-motivated crimes to justice.”
On March 5th, Russo pushed a 64-year-old Asian woman to the ground which caused her to fall and suffer pain to the body, the DA’s office said. On March 22, Russo approached a 32-year-old Asian woman as she was walking towards the train station, and Russo pulled the woman’s hair and dragged her to the floor violently.
On April 5th, Russo approached a 77-year-old Asian man and pushed him to the ground, which caused pain to suffer bruising and pain to his hand, according to the DA’s office.
Surveillance video captured Russo in all three of these separate attacks.
Russo pleaded not guilty to the charges at the indictment.
“He maintains his innocence,” Judith Karpatkin, Russo’s attorney, said.
He is being held on a bail of $50,000 cash or a $100,000 bond, and must return to court on July 13, the release states.