A homeless man with dozens of prior arrests has been charged with slugging an Asian woman in Chinatown, authorities and police sources said Tuesday — as New York’s top cop denounced the revolving-door justice system for putting residents “at risk.”
Alexander Wright, 48, faces charges of assault as a hate crime and assault, according to police.
The sickening attack was caught on video, showing the 55-year-old victim walking on Bayard Street around 6:15 p.m. Monday when Wright strolled by and allegedly whacked her unprovoked.
Wright, who lives in a shelter on Wards Island and is also known as “Disney,” has 40 prior arrests and three prior incidents as an “emotionally disturbed person,” police sources said.
“That’s a terrible video to watch,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said on NY1 Tuesday. “Thank you to the passersby that aided that victim and pointed the individual out to the cops, who were right there on the corner and took him into custody.”
“When you have an individual like yesterday’s from Chinatown [who] lives in a shelter, arrested eight times in the last year, randomly assaulting people … What are we doing in society when we are releasing these people right back onto the streets? It’s putting New Yorkers at risk,” the top cop said.
The woman — who was helped by a stranger on the street — was brought to NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital in stable condition, police said.
Wright was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance for having K2 in his possession, cops said.
Shea said that another man was busted for allegedly shoving a 65-year-old Asian woman down a flight of stairs at the 34th Street subway station Friday — and then released back onto the street.
No further details were immediately available on that incident.