A Brooklyn man was arrested on Wednesday for three separate hate crimes aimed at Asian people, police said.
Joseph Russo, 27, allegedly attacked an elderly man, shoving him to the ground, on Monday in his third motiveless assault in two months.
Footage shows Russo grabbing a bouquet of flowers from an outdoor display and hurling them toward the road, before seeing his victim – a 77-year-old man.
Joseph Russo, 27, was arrested on Wednesday for three Asian hate crimes
Russo reportedly pushed the elderly Asian man who was shopping for vegetables in Sheepshead Bay, southern Brooklyn.
The victim was left with bruises to his left arm after the assault. Investigators believe it was a random attack and no words were exchanged between the pair.
On March 22, in a second daytime attack, Russo is accused of assaulting a 32-year-old woman by pulling her hair as she walked along Kings Highway in the Homecrest neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Police released footage of the March attack, hoping to catch Russo, who had not been identified at the time.
In the grueling footage, Russo can be seen dragging his victim by the hair for several feet before suddenly letting go, smacking the wall twice with his hand, and walking away.
The woman was left with pain in her head and neck, but refused medical treatment.
Russo is accused of shoving a 77-year-old man to the ground in an attack on Monday and assaulting a 32-year-old woman by yanking on her hair on March 22
Late on Wednesday, police charged Russo over a third incident, which took place on March 5, ABC7 NY reported.
In that attack, the suspect allegedly approached a 64-year-old Asian woman and shoved her to the ground.
Russo has been charged with assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
The three incidents come amid a surge in hate crimes against Asians in America.
Russo’s alleged attacks come amid a surge in hate crimes against Asians in America
In mid-March, the NYPD revealed that it had recorded a 1,300 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic
Activists have taken to the streets to demand an end to anti-Asian violence (pictured, a protest against rising numbers of hate crimes in New York)
Last week, a 65-year-old Asian woman was knocked to the ground and viciously beaten while on her way to church in Manhattan.
A video shows the victim, 65, being pushed to floor and kicked in the head by an unidentified passer-by during the daylight attack March 26.
The suspect can be seen stomping on the women’s head and face at least three times during the unprovoked attack.
Two doormen who witnessed the incident were fired after failing to intervene, it emerged this week.
Brandon Elliot, 38, was formally indicted during a court appearance on Monday in the case, according to the New York Post.
The homeless man was out on parole in the death of his mother, who he murdered in the Bronx in 2002.
He was sentenced to 25 years to life for the crime but was released from prison on lifetime parole in 2019.
He is scheduled to be arraigned April 21 and faces two counts of felony assault as a hate crime, as well as a count of attempted assault in the first degree.
Elliot faces 25 years in prison, plus further penalties for violating his parole if he is convicted.
In mid-March, the NYPD reported a 1,300 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes during the Covid pandemic.
On April 4, thousands of people participated in a protest to demand an end to anti-Asian violence in New York City.
The group of at least 3,000 people, made up of activists, residents and local politicians, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge.
People are increasingly speaking against anti-Asian violence and hate crimes after statistics showed a surge in reports in the last 12 months.
A 28-year-old man in southern California was charged, accused of throwing rocks at an Asian woman and her six-year-old son as they drove down the street in late March.
Roger Janke, 28, of Fullerton, faces up to six years in jail if found guilty of violating civil rights, vandalism, hate crime enhancement, and a misdemeanor count of throwing a substance at a vehicle.