Police arrested a Manhattan Beach man who allegedly stabbed a black woman last November, charging him with attempted murder, and assault as a hate crime, authorities announced on Tuesday.
Aleksejs Saveljevs, 33, grabbed 57-year-old Ann Marie Washington as she was leaving the Church Avenue Q subway station in Prospect Park South on the evening of Nov. 9, punching her repeatedly, and stabbing her with a screwdriver in the back, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
When a bystander attempted to protect Washington, Saveljevs yelled, “You f****** black bitches,” before fleeing, Gonzalez said.
Washington was spitting blood following the assault, but didn’t realize the attacker had stabbed her until she returned home. She called 911 and was taken to Kings County Hospital, where she underwent emergency treatment for a collapsed lung, DA’s office reported.
Within hours of the incident, Saveljevs was arrested for a different crime — he allegedly beat up an off-duty cop the day before his racist attack, fracturing the officer’s cheekbone.
Cops took Saveljevs to Coney Island Psychiatric Ward, where he pummeled another patient following a dispute about toilet paper, breaking his jaw, according to the New York Daily News.
Police say Saveljevs was transferred to Rikers following the psyche ward assault.
On Aug. 20, a grand jury indicted Saveljevs for the racist stabbing after an investigation matched DNA found on a screwdriver in Washington’s bag to him. He faces charges of attempted murder, assault as a hate crime, and criminal possession of a weapon, and is being held on $250,000 bail, authorities report.
Saveljevs’ indictment comes after widespread community activism accusing the police force of downplaying the stabbing. According to a Gothamist report, cops initially labeled the attack a “robbery” and did not investigate it as a hate crime, despite eyewitness reports claiming that the man had used racist language.
“This is a white man yelling misogynist, racist things while punching and stabbing someone, but police downplayed it because it was a black woman attacked by a white man,” Imani Henry, the founder of Equality for Flatbush, told Gothamist. “It’s only because of the community speaking out that it got bumped up to a hate crime.”