Florida woman indicted after a video went viral of her pepper-spraying four Asian women in Manhattan

Florida woman indicted after a video went viral of her pepper-spraying four Asian women in Manhattan 2
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 A woman who was filmed in a viral video pepper spraying four Asian women in a racially motivated attack in Manhattan last month was formally charged with assault on Thursday.

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment of Madeline Barker after she pepper-sprayed a group of Asian women on Hudson Street in the meatpacking district while spitting racial remarks.

‘Hearing the hateful and discriminatory words, “go back to your country” is deeply painful and these women allegedly heard them before enduring the physical pain of Ms. Barker’s pepper spray. People of all backgrounds deserve to feel safe,’ Bragg said in a statement.

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The four women experienced a burning sensation and pain in their eyes after the 41-year-old sprayed them for standing near where she was sitting. 

Barker appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court and was charged with eight counts of assault in the third degree as a hate crime and four counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree, a misdemeanor hate crime, according to Bragg’s office.

The indictment comes a day after a man, Derrick Johnson, was charged for making xenophobic remarks as he attacked two Asian women, Bragg said.

He added, ‘These bias-driven incidents have no place in Manhattan.’

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Madeline Barker, 47, was arraigned on Thursday for attacking four Asian women last month. The women were standing right where she was sitting when she decided to attack them

Madeline Barker, 47, was arraigned on Thursday for attacking four Asian women last month. The women were standing right where she was sitting when she decided to attack them

Barker appeared on Thursday in the Manhattan Supreme Court where she was charged with eight counts of assault in the third degree as a hate crime and four counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree, a misdemeanor hate crime.

Barker appeared on Thursday in the Manhattan Supreme Court where she was charged with eight counts of assault in the third degree as a hate crime and four counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree, a misdemeanor hate crime.

Barker was caught on camera hurling racial insults at the victims, such as ‘Go back to where you came from’ and you don’t belong here,’ during the June 10 altercation.

Barker, of Florida, was ruled a possible flight risk at her first court appearance Saturday in Manhattan, and ordered held on $20,000 bail. 

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Prosecutors lobbied for the judge to declare Barker a flight risk because she’s from the Sunshine State, didn’t turn herself in and was only caught after an eyewitness recognized her on the street, according to the New York Post.

Barker’s Legal Aid Counsel argued that the media coverage of the incident had ‘amplified’ the case. 

She faces charges of assault as a hate crime, with Judge Eric Schumacher setting bail at $20,000 cash, $20,000 partially secure bond. She appeared wearing a denim jacket and a white facemask.

A woman who was filmed pepper spraying four Asian women in a racially motivated attack in Manhattan last week was arraigned and charged with a hate crime Sunday, after video of the incident went viral

A woman who was filmed pepper spraying four Asian women in a racially motivated attack in Manhattan last week was arraigned and charged with a hate crime Sunday, after video of the incident went viral

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The suspect, 47-year-old Madeline Barker, was caught on camera hurling racial insults at the victims, such as 'Go back to where you came from' and you don't belong here,' during the June 10 altercation

The suspect, 47-year-old Madeline Barker, was caught on camera hurling racial insults at the victims, such as ‘Go back to where you came from’ and you don’t belong here,’ during the June 10 altercation

Barker was ruled a possible flight risk at her first court appearance Saturday in Manhattan, and ordered held on $20,000 bail

Barker was ruled a possible flight risk at her first court appearance Saturday in Manhattan, and ordered held on $20,000 bail

Prosecutors lobbied for the judge to declare Barker a flight risk because she’s from Florida, didn’t turn herself in and was only caught after an eyewitness recognized her on the street

Prosecutors lobbied for the judge to declare Barker a flight risk because she’s from Florida, didn’t turn herself in and was only caught after an eyewitness recognized her on the street

The incident, which transpired in a public plaza in the Meatpacking District, subsequently sparked a search for the then-unidentified woman – dubbed ‘Karen’ by internet users.

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The incident, which left one victim ‘unable to open her eyes,’ comes amid a rash of anti-Asian violence in City That Never Sleeps.

A Karen was arguing with four Asian women on Saturday when she pulled out pepper spray

The victims said the Karen claimed they were harassing her and then sprayed them multiple times

The suspect, 47-year-old Madeline Barker, was caught on camera hurling racial insults at the victims, such as ‘Go back to where you came from’ and you don’t belong here,’ during the June 10 altercation. The footage subsequently went viral and led to police arresting Barker 

Even though the victims attempted to walk away, Barker chased and pepper sprayed the victims in the face, the footage shows. One victim said she was 'unable to open [her] eyes' after the attack

Even though the victims attempted to walk away, Barker chased and pepper sprayed the victims in the face, the footage shows. One victim said she was ‘unable to open [her] eyes’ after the attack

Police had been on the hunt for the suspect, investigating the case as a hate crime after the footage went viral last week

Police had been on the hunt for the suspect, investigating the case as a hate crime after the footage went viral last week

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Shocking video recorded by the victims shows the moment the woman, dubbed  ‘Karen’ by social media users, starts arguing with the four Queens women, all in their 20s, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on Saturday. 

The victims, who asked to remain anonymous, told ABC 7 that they were checking out a flower installation when the woman suddenly picked a fight with them, and after accusing them of harassing her, the Karen pepper sprayed the four. 

‘It was so painful, one victim said. ‘I couldn’t open my eyes for about 30 minutes.’ 

A bystander then filmed the victims walking away from the argument, but the Karen continues to yell at them and walks up behind one of the women and blasts her directly in the eyes with the pepper spray before leaving the area.  

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It's the latest anti-Asian crime in the New York City, where hate crimes have shot up, those against Asians going up 343 percent last year

It’s the latest anti-Asian crime in the New York City, where hate crimes have shot up, those against Asians going up 343 percent last year

Police said the incident was currently under investigation and was being treated as a hate crime. 

According to the victims, Barker went on a racist tirade as she pulled out the pepper spray on the Asian women. 

‘[She was] saying, like, ‘Go back to where you came from, you don’t belong here,” one victim recalled to ABC 7. 

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‘She pointed to an Asian bystander who was a man, we didn’t know who he was, pointed at him and said, ‘Take your ***** back to your country.” 

The victims claimed that after the assault, one of them got a message from someone else who had allegedly ran into the same woman earlier in the day, saying the Karen had pepper sprayed three others, including a 13-year-old girl. 

‘Learning that she did this to other people, including a minor, that’s not ok,’ one of the victims said. ‘She needs to be caught.’  

Another victim said that despite hearing racist remarks growing up, it was the first time any of them had been physical victims of a hate crime. 

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Hate crimes have been on the rise in the Big Apple and nationwide, with the NYPD reporting that hate crimes had shot up 96 percent in 2021, with 133 Asian Americans experiencing terrifying and dangerous experiences of discrimination in the city.

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