Local elected officials condemn alleged violent hate crime in Woodhaven

Woodhaven alleged hate crime on bus
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar brings together other elected officials and community leaders to address violent crime in Woodhaven. (Photo courtesy of Vjola Isufaj)

State and local elected officials came together to denounce the alleged hate crime against a white woman that took place earlier this month on a Q52 bus in Woodhaven. 

Assemblyman Jenifer Rajkumar and local leaders expressed their anger toward the attack, saying that no one should feel unsafe going about their daily routines.

“We are gathered here to set some clear standards against violence, [and] to speak with one voice about what will, and will not be allowed to occur here in our community,” Rajkumar said. “There’s no place for crime in my backyard, not in my district — not on my watch.”

On Saturday, July 9, Jill LeCroix, 57, was attacked by three Black women just before 7 p.m. on the Q52 MTA bus near Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. 

According to NYPD, the three women approached LeCroix and allegedly left her bleeding after striking her on the head with an unknown object and making anti-white statements. The suspects got off the bus and fled on foot. 

The New York Post reported that one of the attackers asked LeCroix, “You probably like Trump! Don’t you?” before hitting her on the head.

The assault is currently being investigated by the NYPD.

“Hate based on anyone’s race, religion or ethnic background is un-America,” Rajkumar said. “As New Yorkers, we embrace difference, [and] as Americans we know that we are all in this together, sharing a collective destiny.”

Rajkumar shared statistics provided by the NYPD, revealing that hate crimes have drastically increased over the past year.

“NYPD reported a 100% increase in hate crimes,” Rajkumar said. “Anti-Asian incidents have jumped 361%, anti-LGBTQ cases are up 193% and cases against Jewish people are up another 51%.”

Rajkumar said she wants common-sense solutions, like boosting NYPD presence in known problem areas, investing in violence prevention programs and strengthening laws against repeat offenders. 

Councilman Robert Holden echoed these sentiments, passionately demanding that judges and district attorneys “do their jobs.”

“If you commit a hate crime, you should be in jail,” Holden said. “This kind of thing should not happen anywhere in New York City obviously, but certainly, not in the most diverse borough. I’m fed up. We should stand together and condemn this. If you attack anybody based on the color of their skin, you should not be walking the streets.”

Deanna Logan, director of the mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, said that her office is committed to making sure people can walk, commute and live in New York City safely.

“The mayor wants to be very clear that there is absolutely no place for violence for hate or any type of escalation to physical aggression to New Yorkers as they go about their daily lives,” Logan said. 

State Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblyman David Weprin and Councilwoman Joann Ariola also joined the press conference to condemn the violence that took place on July 9.

President Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association Martin Colberg apologized to LeCroix on behalf of the entire neighborhood.

“You shouldn’t have to go through this,” Colberg said to LeCroix. “You should be able to jump on mass transit without being worried of about being attacked; our city is better than this. We need the DA and the judges to do their jobs. We need to be able to go through our communities and feel safe.”

Julissa Velazquez, a summer intern with Rajkumar’s office and a rising high school senior from the area also spoke, and shared that she hopes her elected officials can make lasting change so she can feel safe in her community. 

“When I go to school, I want to be safe. I want our classrooms to be safe from shooters. And I want to be safe on the bus, subway and on the streets,” Velazquez said. “As a student, I ask all the leaders here to come together and keep us safe.”

The three suspects were described to be in their teens or early 20s with dyed hair. On July 15, NYPD surveillance showed the suspects walking past Woodhaven Boulevard subway station.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of the suspects is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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