Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Stabbing Black Woman in Subway During Hate Crime

Thursday, July 30, 2020


Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Stabbing
Black Woman in Subway During Hate Crime

Defendant Sentenced to Additional Two to Four Years Concurrent Time
For Separate Attack on Off-Duty Police Officer a Day Earlier

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking a 57-year-old black woman and stabbing her in the back in a hate crime attack in a Brooklyn subway station. The defendant was sentenced to an additional two to four years concurrent time in prison for a separate incident in which he assaulted an off-duty police officer a day earlier.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant viciously assaulted a fellow subway rider for no other reason than the color of her skin—one of two unprovoked attacks he waged over the course of two days. Acts of hate are not tolerated in Brooklyn, a place that prides itself on the diversity of its communities. I hope this sentence sends a clear message that racism and intolerance are unwelcomed here.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Aleksejs Saveljevs, 34, of Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn. He was sentenced yesterday day to 10 years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun following his guilty plea to first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime. The defendant also pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault for attacking a police officer and was sentenced to two to four years for that incident. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on November 9, 2018, at approximately 7:30 p.m., inside of the Church Avenue subway station, a Black woman who had just gotten off the Q train was walking on the platform towards the station exit when the defendant approached her from behind, grabbed her and repeatedly struck her about the shoulders and upper back. An eyewitness approached and attempted to help, asking: “What is going on here?” The defendant replied: “You (expletive) black (expletive).” The eyewitness then helped the victim up the stairs and shielded her from the defendant, who continued to approach them. The eyewitness told the defendant to back off and he fled the scene.

The victim went up the stairs and began to spit up blood. She was examined at the scene by emergency medical personnel, filed a report with police and went home. Later that night, the victim began to vomit as she was trying to sleep, noticed blood on her sheets and realized she had been stabbed in her back. She called 911 and was taken to Kings County Hospital and treated for a collapsed lung. She was released from the hospital on November 15, 2018.

Two days later, while going through items she was carrying during the assault she found a screwdriver inside of her lunch bag that didn’t belong to her and called police. The defendant’s DNA, which was stored in the City’s database following an unrelated arrest, was recovered from the screwdriver.

In addition, on November 8, 2018, at approximately 8:55 a.m., the defendant assaulted an off-duty police officer while the victim was walking his dog on Williams Court near East 11th Street in Sheepshead Bay. The defendant struck the victim’s head and face with a sharp object and stated, “I am going to (expletive) you up.” The defendant continued to strike the victim’s head and face as the victim fled.

The victim was treated for a broken cheek bone at Lutheran Hospital and required several staples and stitches to treat cuts to his head and face. The defendant’s building manager identified the defendant from surveillance images taken the day of the assault. The victim also identified the defendant during a lineup procedure conducted at the 61st Precinct.

The hate crime case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Adriana Rodriguez, of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli Muse, Bureau Chief.

The assault case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lino J. De Masi of the District Attorney’s Green Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney James Lin, Bureau Chief.