'I don't know why you're here': Man faces hate crime charges for anti-Asian subway attack

Richard B. Levine
Subway riders wait for a train at the 47-50th Street Rockefeller Center station in the New York subway on Friday, September 6, 2019. Photo credit Richard B. Levine

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A 40-year-old man who attacked two women of Korean descent inside the 47th–50th Streets–Rockefeller Center subway station while yelling anti-Asian slurs in May was indicted on hate crime charges, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Wednesday.

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Derrick Johnson is charged with two counts of third-degree assault as a hate crime and two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor hate crime.

On the afternoon of May 8, Johnson threw an unknown liquid at two women who had just entered the station, according to court documents.

Johnson then allegedly spit at one of them and hurled racially offensive remarks at them, including, "I don't know why you're here," and charged at one of the women, causing her to fall to the ground.

That victim sustained significant bruising to her arms and legs and experienced substantial pain and swelling in her head and jaw.

In a statement, Bragg said all subway riders "of all backgrounds deserve safety when they travel."

"The rise of bias-driven crimes is unacceptable," he added. "We are expanding our Office’s Hate Crimes Unit to enhance these prosecutions while increasing community engagement and other preventative measures."

If someone believes they have been a victim of a hate crime, they are urged to contact his office's Hate Crimes Hotline at 212-335-3100.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Richard B. Levine