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Man Charged With Hate Crimes in New York City Street Attacks

A Brooklyn man was charged on Tuesday with felony assault and stalking as hate crimes and with misdemeanor harassment after a series of attacks on strangers over the past year, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced.

The man, Skiboky Stora, 40, who is Black, was accused of targeting people he believed were white, female or Jewish. He was arrested in March when one of his alleged victims shared her story on TikTok. The woman, Halley Kate Mcgookin, then 23, said she was walking in Chelsea when a man punched her in the face so forcefully that she fell to the ground. The police arrested Mr. Stora two days later. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ms. Mcgookin’s video was one of many this spring from young women who said they were attacked at random on public streets at a time of growing concern regarding crime in the city.

“Skiboky Stora allegedly committed a series of hate-motivated incidents against several individuals based on their perceived gender, race and religion,” Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, said in a statement. “Much of what defines our city is respect and acceptance of all people. Nobody should have to fear for their safety because of their identity.”

Mr. Stora, an occasional fringe political candidate, has featured provocative images of young women on his Instagram account and has pictures of himself standing in front of a “Trump: Make America Great Again” sign.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office has accused Mr. Stora of attacking several people seemingly at random and in broad daylight. In September, according to the district attorney’s office, Mr. Stora elbowed a white 17-year-old boy in the neck. The next month, he is accused of elbowing a 37-year-old fair-skinned woman in the shoulder. And in November, Mr. Stora attacked a man and a woman, both white 28-year-olds, after the woman took a picture of him tearing down posters of Israeli hostages. Mr. Stora followed the couple, shouting antisemitic remarks, including “Die, Jews, Die!” according to the district attorney.

Ms. Mcgookin’s video, which has been seen more than 51 million times since it was posted in late March, was one in a series of similar viral videos from women. Men have also reported being attacked.

This month, the actor Steve Buscemi was punched in the face in Manhattan and taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was treated for bruising, swelling and bleeding in his left eye. In April, the actor Michael Stuhlbarg, Mr. Buscemi’s co-star on the television series “Boardwalk Empire,” was also attacked while walking in Central Park. Arrests have been made in both cases.

According to figures compiled by the Police Department, felony assaults are up 4.8 percent from this time last year and misdemeanor assaults are up by 7.2 percent over the same period.

Ginia Bellafante and Maria Cramer contributed reporting.

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