STEWART MANOR, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A suburban mother is under arrest for a hate crime after police allege she yelled racial slurs and hit a 28-year-old woman in New Hyde Park on Long Island.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, it was outside the historic Denton House, now converted into a McDonald’s, on Jericho Turnpike. Patrons first observed a verbal scuffle over a parking spot that quickly escalated to a hate crime.
“Just because the woman was black, she was trying to do her job and take care of the special needs kids,” one witness said.
“Heard lots of words being flung around — racial words,” another added.
“The white woman, I don’t know why she reacted that way,” a man said.
Police say an African American aid parking her vehicle with special needs persons in the back was subjected to harassing racial threats from 45-year-old Jennifer Velez. Court papers outline Velez calling herself a member of the Klu Klux Klan.
She allegedly pulled out of the parking lot, follow and stalked the victim for two blocks, jumped out of her car at a red light and punched the victim in the left cheek.
“It’s sad. Shouldn’t be a difference between black, white, yellow, blue,” one resident said.
Velez is a single mother living in Stewart Manor. He family said she needs medication, McLogan reported.
The judge ordered her to stay away from the victim. On condition of jail release, she must undergo a psychological evaluation and enroll in anger management rehabilitation.
The special needs aid, who did not want to be named, declined medical treatment and told police the experience was sickening.