A white woman who was recorded throwing a bottle and hurling a racial slur at a black runner in New York City has been arrested and charged with a hate crime, authorities have said.
The woman was recorded by a bystander during the incident on 17 August against Tiffany Johnson, 37. In the video released by New York Police Department, the woman throws a bottle at Ms Johnson as she passes her on the street and then shouting the racial slur.
Lorena Delaguna, 53, of Woodside, Queens, has been charged with attempted assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, authorities said on Tuesday.
“Crimes like this, which are fueled by hate, are in a special category for a reason,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a written statement.
“No one should have to endure being called a vile slur or being attacked simply because of the color of their skin, their religion, or who they love.”
Ms Delaguna’s attorney, Samantha Diaz, questioned the severity of the charges, citing the fact that Ms Johnson hadn’t suffered physical harm.
Ms Johnson, who was not identified by Ms Katz but has publicly identified herself as the jogger in the video, called the incident a “hate crime."
“It’s not acceptable. She has to be [held] responsible for her behavior," Ms Johnson told The New York Post. “I was definitely shocked. I was surprised but, more importantly, I wanted to get away from her.”
Ms Katz has said that Ms Delaguna followed the runner for a block and told her to “go back to Africa.”
Judge Jeffrey Gershuny said there was a “mental health component” to the case and has ordered a psychological evaluation for Ms Delaguna, who was arraigned in Queens criminal court.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press