Juveniles arrested in alleged Lower East Side hate crime

April 10, 2010 6:00:13 AM PDT
Police have arrested three juveniles in attacks on five Asian women on the Lower East Side.

Police say the group struck five times between March 31 and Monday, three of those times at the Baruch Houses, a sprawling public housing complex comprised of 17 apartment buildings.

The victims, Asian women ranging in age from 50 to 71, were jumped and beaten by the group after apparently being picked based on their ethnicity.

Surveillance video captured the group, comprised of three young men and two young women. They typically waited in the lobbies of the apartment complexes.

Once the spotted a target, they would surround the victims. The young women would beat them with their hands and fists while the young men watch.

Police arrested three suspects on Friday night and charged them with assault as a hate crime. The suspects are two girls, aged 12 and 15, and one 15-year-old boy. Investigators said their parents brought them to the precinct to face the charges.

No money was taken in the attacks, and the victims had no prior contact with their attackers, according to investigators.

Detectives from the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force began investigating because it appeared the group was randomly picking their victims solely because they are Asian.

The group was caught on surveillance camera at the scene of the first attack, last week inside the Samuel Gompers Houses at 90 Pitt Street.

Police were still looking for two more suspects.