A 29-year-old New York man who was arrested for allegedly attacking women unprovoked at a subway stop in Brooklyn is facing a 52-count indictment and could be sentenced to up to life behind bars if found guilty.
According to New York Post, Khari Covington allegedly attacked five women at the Morgan Avenue subway station somewhere between November and January. He also allegedly assaulted two other women around the vicinity on August 5 and January 4 respectively. Covington faces a slew of charges including burglary as a hate crime, strangulation as a hate crime and assault as a hate crime. Asked about the motive behind his attacks, Covington allegedly told investigators he targeted the women because they were light-skinned.
“This defendant’s alleged violent and unprovoked attacks endangered the women he targeted and caused widespread fear in the community,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement on Wednesday. “I am committed to prosecuting all hate crimes where victims, including as alleged in this case, are targeted because of their gender, skin color or race.”
One of the victims who earlier spoke to the news outlet condemned the police for not doing enough to warn women of Covington’s unprovoked attacks at the subway when they got to know about the pattern.
“I was stunned that this had happened so many times. I didn’t see any police stationed there. There were no flyers,” Bianca Fortis said in January. “There’s not enough security. After it happened the first time, or certainly the second, there should have been more information. Even just a flyer saying be on alert.”
Elizabeth Wakefield, another victim, also narrated her ordeal to NBC New York, saying: “He was coming down behind me, and he must have — from the angle and from what I’ve gathered — kicked me in the side of the face and head from behind. My immediate thought after it happened to me was, I really hope this doesn’t happen again to somebody else.”
And though police did not confirm to NBC New York if the attack on Wakefield was connected to the other incidents, she said it was possible Covington was behind them following conversations she had with the other victims.
“It sounds like similar descriptions of what he looked like and pretty much the exact same style of attack, and the same exact subway stop,” Wakefield said.
Covington was arraigned in court on Wednesday and his bail was continued at $150,000.