Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the indictment of STEVEN ZAJONC, 28, for assaulting seven Asian women on the east side of Manhattan, between Houston and East 30th Streets, on February 27, 2022. ZAJONC is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with six felony counts of Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime and seven counts of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, a misdemeanor hate crime. []
“These attacks on seven New York women, each fueled by anti-Asian hate, are yet another sobering reminder of the demonstrable fears AAPI communities, particularly AAPI women, in our City continue to face,” said DA Bragg. “As alleged, within just three hours, Steven Zajonc selectively ambushed seven Asian women in separate assaults, some of which he struck from behind – for no other reason than their perceived race. This indictment is a result of our collaboration with the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, and critically, assistance from the brave witnesses and victims who came forward to stand up against hate. My Office is a safe place to report crimes regardless of your immigration status. If you have been a victim or witness to a hate crime or bias incident, please call our Hate Crimes Hotline at 212-335-3100.”
According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, on February 27, 2022, at approximately 6:00 p.m., ZAJONC began a series of unprovoked assaults on seven Asian women on the east side of Manhattan between Houston and East 30th Streets. In several attacks, ZAJONC approached the women from behind before striking them in the face with a closed fist or his elbow and fleeing the scene. The final incident, in which the defendant shoved a woman to the ground in the vicinity of Broadway and East 8th Street, occurred between 8:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
As a result of the attacks, six of the victims suffered injuries, including bleeding lacerations and bruising to their faces. Another victim was knocked unconscious by the defendant and treated in a hospital for a concussion. After the attacks, NYPD disseminated video surveillance footage of several incidents to help identify the perpetrator. Subsequently, ZAJONC was recognized by employees of the New York Public Library and apprehended by the NYPD on March 2, 2022.
The Manhattan D.A.’s Office currently has 27 open hate crime cases related to anti-Asian hate crimes.
Assistant D.A. Neil Greenwell is handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Hannah Yu (Chief of the Hate Crimes Unit), and Executive Assistant D.A. Joyce Smith (Chief of the Trial Division). Senior Investigative Analyst Marissa Medici (Hate Crimes Unit), and Trial Preparation Assistants Allegra Bersani and Caitlyn Kang also assisted with the case.
D.A. Bragg thanked Deputy Inspector Andrew Arias and Detective Michael Rodriguez of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, as well as members of the Midtown South Precinct for their assistance with the investigation.
New York, NY
- Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime, six counts
- Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, seven counts
 The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.