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Homeless Man Charged With Hate Crimes in String of Attacks on Asian Women

By Erin Brady, Newsweek

A homeless man in New York City is facing hate crime charges after allegedly attacking seven Asian women.

Steven Zajonc was arrested on March 2 and is accused of attacking women of Asian descent over the course of a two-hour period. The women in the attacks ranged in age from 19 to 57. He was charged with seven counts of assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and harassment.

According to local news station WNBC, the women did not suffer major or life-threatening injuries. The station described the injuries as swelling, redness and minor lacerations. The Villager reported that the victims were wordlessly approached before being attacked.

The youngest victim, a 19-year-old college student, spoke to WPIX anonymously to talk about her experience and how she is "still bleeding" from the attack.

"I think it's terrible," she told the news station.

The arrest of Zajonc comes after a string of high-profile homicides of Asian women in the city. Christina Yuna Lee was found dead in her apartment in January, and Michelle Alyssa Go was shoved in front of a moving train in February. Neither death has been ruled as a hate crime.

It also comes during an alarming increase in anti-Asian hate crimes not only in New York City but across the country. A reported 131 hate crimes targeting Asian Americans were confirmed to have occurred in 2021, including the Atlanta spa shooting that took the lives of eight people, primarily Asian women.

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