DNA Leads NYPD to Man Suspected in Unprovoked Attack That Left a Black Woman with Collapsed Lung

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A Brooklyn man who ended up in a psychiatric ward has been arrested after DNA on a screwdriver linked him to a violent crime spree leaving a Black woman with a collapsed lung and the man, charged with a hate crime.

Aleksejs Saveljevs was arraigned Tuesday on a 23-count indictment, according to a statement from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

Police sketch
This is a police sketch of the man police believe is Aleksejs Saveljev. (Photo by NYPD)

In an eight-day time frame, he allegedly attacked an off-duty New York City Police officer, called two Black women “Black b—–s,” stabbed one of them then turned on another psychiatric patient after he was confined.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said the woman stabbed had just gotten off the Q train and was walking on the platform toward the station exit when an attacker grabbed her from behind and repeatedly struck her shoulders and upper back around 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9.

When a witness tried to help and asked: “What is going on here,” the man allegedly replied: “You f—–g Black b—–s.”

The witness then helped the victim up the stairs and shielded her from her attacker as he continued to approach them, Gonzalez said.

At that point, the witness told the man later identified as Saveljevz to back off and he fled the scene, Gonzalez said.

The victim was later identified as 57-year-old Ann Marie Washington in media reports.

When Washington tried to walk upstairs near the subway platform, she began to spit up blood and was examined at the scene by emergency medical workers, Gonzalez said.

She then filed a report with police and went home, Gonzalez said. It wasn’t until later that night that she began to vomit while trying to sleep and noticed blood on her sheets, Gonzalez said.

She realized she had been stabbed in her back, called 911 and was taken to Kings County Hospital for what she found out what was a collapsed lung, Gonzalez said.

Washington was released Nov. 15 and two days later while going through the lunch bag she was carrying during the attack, she found a screwdriver she knew wasn’t hers.

Saveljevz’s DNA was found on the tool and investigators were able to match it to DNA already stored in a city database.

As it turns out, Saveljevs was already in jail by Nov. 17.

He is accused of launching several violent attacks before authorities were able to apprehend him.

The violent spree allegedly included an off-duty New York City Police officer among the victims, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office confirmed.

Saveljevs is accused of shouting something in Russian at the cop while he was walking his dog then, hitting him with an unknown object around 9 a.m. Nov. 8 at Williams Court near East 11th Street, according to the Bklyner.

After allegedly attacking Washington the next day, Saveljevs was confined at the Coney Island Psychiatric Ward, the news outlet reported.

It’s unclear what led staff members to confine Saveljevs or if they knew about the accusations against Saveljevs at the time, but the man allegedly attacked another patient, leading to his arrest Nov. 16, the Bklyner reported.

Saveljevz is being held at Rikers Island on a $250,000 bond, and he is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 20, officials said.

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