Police are seeking three additional suspects thought to be involved in a hate crime in Manhattan this week.
A Black Brooklyn woman who wishes not to be named told The New York Daily News on Feb. 9 that she was not surprised she became a victim of a weekend harassment incident at the hands of the group of men that left her with minor injuries.
The 21-year-old woman said she was waiting for an Uber with her brother on Broadway near W. 28th St. at around 1 a.m. on Feb. 7 when the pair were approached and harassed by a group of four men who hurled racial slurs at them. The woman also said she was struck in the face by one of the men.
“I’m a Black woman. This is not surprising at all. I expected it,” the woman said.
The victim explained that her brother stepped between her and the group and began to film the attack.
“They were calling us names,” she said. “We were going to record them. My brother put me behind him. One of them went behind him and attacked me. He hit me behind my ear. It’s tender still. I have a knot there. My face was swollen.”
After the attack, the woman’s brother told nearby police about what happened. The woman did not require medical treatment for her injuries.
Ali Akram, the Brooklyn man who allegedly struck the woman, has been charged with assault as a hate crime. Akram also called the woman the N-word and referred to her brother as a “f-ggot.”
“It’s shocking because we are both minorities,” the woman said about the Middle Eastern-looking suspects. “Honestly, I was really shocked that these guys were doing this.”
Akram was granted supervised release by a Manhattan judge and had no record of previous arrests. Police are still seeking the remaining three suspects.
According to the victims’ family, the fact that Akram has been charged represents “justice.”