Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Patrick Mateo, 47, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury on a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and other charges for allegedly attacking a 52-year-old woman outside a bakery on February 16, 2021. The victim was shoved so hard she needed nearly a dozen stitches to close an open gash on her forehead.

District Attorney Katz said, “Since February, when the alleged incident occurred, our investigation has been on-going. I appreciate the community’s patience as we gathered needed evidence to establish a hate crime in this particular circumstance. In addition to the injury sustained by the victim, hate crime requires a need to show that the victim was targeted because of her ethnicity. Our investigation has concluded and now the defendant is charged with a hate crime.”

Mateo, of Main Street in Flushing, Queens, is awaiting arraignment in Queens Supreme Court on an indictment charging him with aggravated harassment in the second degree, assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree. If convicted, the defendant faces up to one year in jail.

According to the charges, just before 2 p.m. on February 16, 2021, the defendant was in line at a bakery on Roosevelt Avenue when he began to argue with the victim. Suddenly, without provocation Mateo cursed at the 52-year-old Chinese woman and pushed her face. The defendant then entered the bakery, grabbed a cardboard box, ran back outside and allegedly threw the box at the victim before forcefully shoving her backwards, on to the ground and into a metal newsstand box on the sidewalk. The impact with the metal newsstand opened a long cut across the woman’s forehead that required about 10 stitches to close.

The defendant, according to the charges, was apprehended less than 48 hours later and arrested. After his arrest, the investigation continued and on March 31, 2021, a Court-authorized search warrant was executed for data on the defendant’s cell phone, which allegedly revealed anti-Asian sentiment.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Michael Galgano of the New York City Police Department’s 109 Precinct. Also assisting in the investigation was Lieutenant Alan Schwartz, of the Queens District Attorney’s Detective Bureau, under the supervision of Chief Edwin Murphy and Deputy Chief Daniel O’Brien.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Brovner, Chief of the DA’s Hates Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Assistant District of Attorney Brinet Rutherford, are prosecuting the case, under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Trial Division Pishoy Yacoub.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.