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Prosecutors convinced a Manhattan judge to set high bail for the homeless man accused of sucker punching an Asian woman in Chinatown — laying out his lengthy history of violence at his arraignment on Wednesday.
Alexander Wright — a career criminal with a rap sheet that now includes a staggering 41 arrests — appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of assault, drug possession and harassment in Monday’s attack.
Wright, 48, was allegedly caught on camera slugging the 55-year-old victim on Bayard Street around 6:15 p.m, hitting her so hard that her hat flew off her head, authorities said. She was left unconscious.
“Given the defendant’s record [and] the viciousness of this attack, the People are currently recommending 364 days jail,” Assistant District Attorney William Darling told the judge.
In requesting that bail be set at $15,000, Darling highlighted that Wright failed to appear in court twice in the last year for an open assault case in the Bronx where he allegedly punched a 72-year-old man in the face.
“Monetary bail is the least restrictive means to ensure the defendant’s return to court,” Darling argued.
Prosecutors also noted that Wright pleaded guilty to two “violent crimes” in Manhattan on May 27.
The first incident occurred in January when he threw a rock through a window and later grabbed a stranger by the face and scratched the victim. In the other case, he threw hot coffee in the faces and eyes of two transit officers, Darling said.
A Manhattan judge sentenced Wright to time served in those cases under the condition he would attend five sessions with one of the city’s diversion programs, the Manhattan Justice Opportunities.
In the most recent attack, Wright “walked up to an Asian woman on the sidewalk in broad daylight … and struck her in the face with a closed fist so hard that her hat flew off her head, she fell to the ground, and lost consciousness,” Darling told the court.
The victim was treated at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital “for substantial pain to her head and face, a laceration, contusion and swelling to her lip,” Darling said.
Prosecutors “have extremely clear video surveillance of the entire assault which was completely unprovoked and observed by multiple eyewitnesses on scene.”
Wright was previously charged by cops with the attack as a hate crime, but the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is still probing the man’s motive, prosecutors said.
Judge Angela Badamo agreed to set bail at $15,000.
Wright is due back in court on June 8.
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