A woman has been charged with assault as a hate crime after she yelled racial slurs and struck a woman in New Hyde Park, police said.
Jennifer Velez, 45, approached the victim about 4 p.m. Tuesday at a fast-food restaurant on Jericho Turnpike “and began calling her racial slurs and threatening her because the victim was black,” Nassau County police said in a news release.
The victim, a 28-year-old female, was an aide with a special needs group she had just driven to the restaurant, police said.
The victim then drove away from the restaurant, and Velez followed in another car, police said.
“At a stop light a short distance away, Velez exited her car and hit the victim in the left cheek,” police said in a news release.
Velez, who is homeless, was arrested at 11:43 p.m. Thursday in East Elmhurst, Queens, police said. Police did not say how they tracked her down.
Velez was awaiting arraignment Friday in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, police said.