OSSINING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in suburban Ossining say a March attack on a Black teenager was a hate crime. The suspect is now facing enhanced charges and more severe penalties.
In the diverse and tolerant Westchester County village, the crime was met with shock and dismay.
“We love this community and what it stands for and one of the big things we try to share with people is that hatred is not welcome here,” Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester told CBS2’s Tony Aiello on Tuesday.
The incident occurred in mid-March at an upscale apartment complex on Highland Avenue. Police said a resident, 35-year-old Robert McCallion, was armed with a knife and suddenly attacked a neighbor he did not know, a 17-year-old Black female.
Based on evidence recovered at the scene and from the suspect’s apartment, police now say the young victim was targeted in a hate crime. She is a student at a local high school.
“The mental and physical scarring that last after a violent crime, that never goes away,” said Chief Sylvester.
The Westchester district attorney said a grand jury indicted McCallion on Monday on charges including attempted murder as a hate crime and felony possession of assault weapons, found in an apartment he shared with his father.
Police found a knife at the scene and McCallion with blood on his hands, police said. He told them he was unemployed. He’s bounced around in recent years, with addresses in Ossining, New Rochelle, Pelham and Cortlandt Manor. Residents said he once displayed a Confederate flag, but removed it after complaints.
McCallion is being held without bail, and facing 14 charges and 25 years behind bars.
The young victim suffered injuries to her face and to several internal organs. Her father spoke briefly to CBS2 off camera and said the teen continues to grapple with the aftermath of the attack.
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