A woman facing multiple hate crime charges for a string of attacks against Asian Americans in New York City was held without bail over the weekend.
What she did: Maricia Bell, 25, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly attacking four Asian Americans, beginning in May. All incidents took place in Queens, according to NBC New York.
The first incident occurred in a parking lot on Kissena Boulevard on May 23. Bell allegedly punched a 24-year-old man in the face, took his glasses and ran off, as per CBS New York.
The second incident took place at a grocery store on Parsons Boulevard on June 16. Bell allegedly approached a 34-year-old woman, asked her, “Why are you looking at me?” and punched her in the back of the head, WABC reported.
The third incident occurred at the corner of Parsons Boulevard and 72nd Avenue on July 11. Bell allegedly approached a 63-year-old woman, slapped her face and removed her mask, AP News noted.
The fourth and most recent incident took place on 71st Avenue and Parsons Boulevard. Bell allegedly approached a 75-year-old woman -- who had been collecting bottles -- and struck the back of her head with a hammer, leaving her with a laceration, according to Sunnyside Post.
The charges: Bell was charged with robbery as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and grand larceny as a hate crime, as well as aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. She faces up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.
“Racism is immoral and unacceptable -- acting on one’s prejudice is a crime. This defendant must answer for allegedly attacking four different victims -- all people of Asian descent -- during sudden, violent outburst(s) of rage here in Queens County,” Katz said in a statement.
Bell was ordered held without bail on Saturday, the New York Post reported. The 25-year-old confirmed that she was the woman captured in screenshots of surveillance videos at three of the crime scenes.
The fourth victim reportedly needed seven stitches to her laceration. Bell told the police, “I was there. She was begging for money. I hit her.”
Bell returns to court on Aug. 16.
Featured Images via WABC
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