A Queens man was indicted by a Queens County grand jury on a hate crime and other charges on Monday, May 10, for allegedly attacking an Asian woman outside of a Flushing bakery, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Patrick Mateo, 47, is awaiting arraignment in Queens Supreme Court on an indictment charging him with aggravated harassment in the second degree, assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree. If convicted, Mateo faces up to one year in jail.
On Feb. 16, Mateo and a 52-year-old Chinese woman were in line at a bakery on Roosevelt Avenue when he began to argue with the woman, according to Katz. Then, without provocation, Mateo cursed at the 52-year-old woman and pushed her face.
Mateo then allegedly entered the bakery, grabbed a cardboard box, ran back outside and threw the box at the woman before forcefully shoving her backward onto the ground and into a metal newsstand box on the sidewalk, according to Katz.
The attack left a long gash across the woman’s forehead that required 10 stitches to close, according to authorities.
Mateo was apprehended and arrested by police less than two days after the incident.
Following his arrest, the investigation continued and on March 31, a court-authorized search warrant was executed for data on the defendant’s cellphone, which allegedly revealed anti-Asian sentiment, according to Katz.
The incident, which occurred as anti-Asian hate crimes have exponentially increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, upset many residents in Queens and throughout the city. In a now-viral post, the victim’s daughter, Maggie Chen, took to Twitter to ask for help identifying the man.
This asshole shoved my mom on Main Street and Roosevelt today which resulted my mom in receiving 5-10 stitches on her head. Hate crime has no place in our community. Please repost and HMU if you know who this is. pic.twitter.com/7L7hADUTp5
— Maggie 🔆 (@mcheng328) February 17, 2021
Katz said the investigation was ongoing since February, as they gathered evidence to establish a hate crime.
“In addition to the injury sustained by the victim, hate crime requires a need to show that the victim was targeted because of her ethnicity,” Katz said. “Our investigation has concluded and now the defendant is charged with a hate crime.”