A New York man accused of accidentally punching a stranger is charged with a hate crime

NEW YORK (AP) – A man arrested in March on suspicion of accidentally hitting a woman walking on a New York street has been charged with hate crimes for this and several other assaults, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Skiboky Stora, 40, of Brooklyn is accused of assaulting, stalking and harassing strangers in a series of anti-woman, anti-white and anti-Semitic incidents between September 2023 and March of this year, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

The March 25, 2024, attack on a 23-year-old woman in the Chelsea neighborhood gained widespread attention after the victim posted about it on TikTok, and several other people described similar attacks in social media posts.

Bragg said the victim fell to the ground and experienced pain and swelling on the left side of his head.

Prosecutors say the attack occurred several months after two other robberies in the same area.

According to the indictment, on September 20, 2023, Stora elbowed a 17-year-old student in the neck and said: “You think you can do whatever you want,” using an expletive, according to the indictment.

Then, on October 26, he elbowed a 37-year-old woman in the left arm, causing pain and bruising, the prosecutor said.

And on Nov. 18, the husband and wife, both 28, were walking their dogs near Union Square when they saw Stora tearing down posters depicting Israeli hostages and stopped to take a photo, prosecutors said.

Noticing the couple looking at him, Stora followed them, shouting anti-white and anti-Semitic threats and insults, including: “Die, Jews, die!” according to the indictment.

Bragg said in a statement that Stora “allegedly committed a series of hate-motivated incidents against several individuals based on their perceived gender, race and religion.”

Stora was arraigned on Tuesday on charges of assault as a hate crime and stalking as a hate crime.

He has already been charged with assault in several cases and pleaded not guilty.

Outside the courtroom on Tuesday, he said, “They’re (trying to) impeach me, man… this guy Alvin Bragg is corrupt,” WNYW Fox 5 reported.

Stora said authorities had “no probable cause” to arrest him, the TV station reported.

Stora is representing himself in court and does not have a lawyer, the district attorney’s office said. His next court date is August 6.

A message was left on Story’s Instagram page asking for comment on the allegations against him.

Karen Matthews, Associated Press