FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Defendant Who Allegedly Targeted Older Women in Midwood
Indicted For Robbery as a Hate Crime and Other Charges
Faces Up To 25 Years in Prison on Top Count
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 27-year-old man has been named in a 20-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree robbery as a hate crime and other charges for allegedly robbing three Russian women in their 60s, who were allegedly targeted because of their age.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly targeted older women to rob because he believed they were easy marks. Cowardly attacks such as these will not be tolerated in Brooklyn. We will work vigorously to prosecute all crimes based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and ethnicity. ”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Akmaljon Abakulov, 27, of Midwood. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 20-count indictment in which he is variously charged with second-degree robbery as a hate crime, second-degree robbery, third-degree robbery as a hate crime, third-degree robbery, fourth-degree grand larceny as a hate crime, fourth-degree grand larceny, third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault, petit larceny as a hate crime and petit larceny. He was ordered held on $125,000 bail and to return to court on January 25, 2017.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 12, 2016, at approximately 4 p.m., a 64 year-old woman withdrew $700 from a bank ATM on Kings Highway, put the money in a white envelope and put it in her purse. Shortly thereafter, the defendant allegedly approached the woman from behind, pushed her against a parked van and began rummaging through her purse. He allegedly took the envelope, pushed the woman and fled.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 24, 2016, at about 4:45 p.m., a 61-year-old woman noticed the defendant in the vicinity of East 16th Street and Avenue P. She then walked to East 14th Street, between Avenues O and P, at which point she felt someone tugging on her purse from behind. She turned around and saw the defendant’s face, then struggled with the defendant. He allegedly pushed her to the ground and fled with the purse, causing physical injury.
Finally, on November 1, 2016, a 61-year-old woman who was shopping at T.J. Maxx, on East 15th Street, placed her handbag in a shopping cart, and put her coat over the handbag. She stepped away momentarily. When she returned to the cart, she noticed her wallet was missing and called 911. The arresting officer recovered video from the store that captured the theft. The defendant was arrested the next day when the store manager called police to alert them that the defendant was in the store.
The investigation revealed that the defendant selected older women because he perceived them to be vulnerable to attack.
The case was investigated by Detective Drew Schlessinger and Detective Sherwin Ifill of the 61st Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Winston Courtney of the 70th Precinct Detective Squad.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Prabhalya Pulim, of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Deputy Bureau Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt