A man charged with robbery who has admitted to targeting his victims because of their race will be sentenced also for a hate crime, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old man, identified as Manuel Israel, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery as a hate crime for robbing five Chinese women and attempting to rob a sixth woman in separate incidents in Borough Park.
According to reports contained in the investigation, in the early morning of April 6, 2015, near 55th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, a 23-year-old woman of Chinese descent was walking alone when Israel approached her from behind and repeatedly pulled on her purse, causing her to fall to the ground. He then stood over her and stated: “Give me all of your money.” According to the investigation, a bystander happened upon the attempted robbery and saw the defendant with his arm around the victim’s neck in an apparent struggle and called 911.
The robber was apprehended 20 minutes later approximately six blocks from the scene by police.
Israel, later admitted to committing five similar additional robberies of women of Chinese descent, ages 21 to 43, between March 21 and April 4, 2015, all in the vicinity of Fort Hamilton Parkway between 55th and 71st Streets, and was subsequently charged with those crimes.
“The defendant specifically targeted Chinese women walking alone because he thought he could overpower them and escape prosecution,” said Gonzalez. “He’s now been held accountable.”
Hate crimes such as these, which are based on a person’s race, gender, sexual identity or ethnicity, will not be tolerated in Brooklyn, he added.