FLATBUSH – The man who stabbed a 57-year-old Black woman in the Church Avenue subway station two years ago was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Back on November 9, 2018, at around 7:30 p.m., 57-year-old Ann Marie Washington was coming home from work and had just exited the Q train at the Church Avenue subway station. She was walking on the platform when 34-year-old Aleksejs Saveljevs from Manhattan Beach grabbed her from behind and repeatedly stabbed her in the shoulders and upper back. He allegedly called her a “black bitch.” A witness approached her and helped Washington up the stairs. The suspect fled the scene.
“We… want justice for our mother. She should not have to be attacked,” Washington’s daughter told us at a rally in 2018. “She’s a hardworking woman coming home from work Friday evening. We want justice. We want this guy caught and off the streets.”
According to cops, Washington began to spit up blood as she was going home that night. She was examined on the scene, filed a police report, and went home. As she was trying to sleep later, she began to vomit, had blood in her sheets, and realized she had been stabbed in the back. She was taken to Kings County Hospital and was treated for a collapsed lung. About a week later, she came back home.
Two days later, she was going through the items that she was carrying during the assault. She found a screwdriver inside her lunch bag that didn’t belong to her. According to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, “The defendant’s DNA, which was stored in the City’s database following an unrelated arrest, was recovered from the screwdriver.”
It turned out, on November 8, 2018, Saveljevs assaulted an off-duty police officer who was walking his dog in Sheepshead Bay, the Brooklyn DA’s office reported. He struck the cop’s head and face with a sharp object multiple times. The officer was treated for a broken cheekbone at Lutheran Hospital and required several staples and stitches to treat cuts to his head and face.
Last year in August of 2019, Saveljevs was arrested. At his arraignment, he was ordered held in lieu of $175,000 bail, the NY Post reported. He has been held at Rikers until today when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the hate crime. In addition, he was also sentenced to two to four years concurrent time in prison for assaulting the cop. He pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime and second-degree attempted assault for attacking a police officer.
“This defendant viciously assaulted a fellow subway rider for no other reason than the color of her skin—one of two unprovoked attacks he waged over the course of two days,” Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said. “Acts of hate are not tolerated in Brooklyn, a place that prides itself on the diversity of its communities. I hope this sentence sends a clear message that racism and intolerance are unwelcomed here.”