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Brooklyn man charged with hate crime in assault on Asian senior

February 17, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A Brooklyn man has been indicted for hate crimes after allegedly assaulting an Asian American woman in an unprovoked attack in Clinton Hill and allegedly telling police that Chinese people are not supposed to be in this country. 
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Mercel Jackson, 52, of Crown Heights. He was arraigned Thursday on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree assault, second-degree attempted assault, third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault, third-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, third-degree attempted assault, third-degree menacing as a hate crime, third-degree menacing, second-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree harassment. 

Gonzalez said that on Jan. 19, 2022, at approximately 9:18 a.m. on Classon Avenue near Greene Street, the victim, a 67-year-old Asian American woman, was walking to the store when she heard yelling and saw Jackson walking toward her. 

He then allegedly approached the woman and punched her about the face three times, causing bruising and swelling. Police responded and arrested Jackson after canvassing the area. He allegedly told police that Chinese people are not supposed to be in this country and that Chinese people are “a funny looking character” and “they look like the measles.”

This “Stop (Anti-) Asian Hate” rally was sponsored by Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in May 2021. Eagle file photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Jackson is being held on $2,000 bail and was ordered to return to court on April 5, 2022.

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District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This cowardly attack against a vulnerable member of our community will not be tolerated in Brooklyn. We will continue to work with our partners in communities across the borough to take a strong stand against hate crimes and pledge to bring to justice those who attack individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Prabhalya Pulim, of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Ari Farkas, Deputy Chief of the Hate Crimes Bureau, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Chief of the Hate Crimes Bureau.

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