NY subway videographer describes racist incident on the train

Juan Ayala, a.k.a. Plátano Man, relives the moment when he caught a “crazy” racist being “crazy” (i.e., racist) on a New York city subway train car full of Asians. Ayala was later caught on video by somebody else, taking the woman down and holding her until the train reached its next stop, where the cops could make an arrest.

It’s pretty clear that nobody wanted a fight (except, of course, the racist, who makes a point of tying her hair back to get it out of the way so she can get physical). Everybody was just on their way to work or school, minding their own business, until this happened. Nobody wanted to play the hero, but — as Plátano Man says, shout-out to the guy in the brown leather jacket, who tried to interpose himself between the racist woman and her target (Michelle Tung, 24), so nobody got hurt.

And if you’re wondering why everybody was basically just hanging around and not piling onto the “crazy” racist: It’s because at first, everyone probably thought she was just another mentally ill person, freaking out on the subway. Happens in New York all the time, or at least, often enough that people let it go and try not to make anything of it. They tend to just let the freak-out pass, as freak-outs typically do.

But this woman was making all kinds of clear aggressive gestures that have nothing to do with mental illness — tying her hair back was a dead giveaway that she was acting with malicious intent, looking to start a fight and then blame the victim when the latter fought back. As was rummaging in her bag for a can of mace. And in fact, she is a repeat offender on that front:

According to court records, Lushchinskaya was charged after allegedly pepper-spraying a man on the train on June 28. That man told the Daily News he and others on the train, soon filled with a cloud of the noxious spray that attacks mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, terrified, thought it was a terror attack.

In the June case, Lushchinskaya was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault. She was also then given a Legal Aid lawyer and was released on her own recognizance, in other words, she walked out of jail sans bail. She apparently did not show up for a fall court date and in November a warrant was issued for her arrest. When she did appear in court on Nov. 16, she was again released without posting any bail. She had a court date on Dec. 13, the same day of the D train incident and on the June case, was again ROR’d. But court records appear to show that both cases have now been combined and in total, she is facing 10 charges with several counts each of menacing and harassment.

And the Gothamist reports on that earlier incident:

Another alleged victim, who asked not to be named out of fear of being attacked again, said she had exited the R train at the 4th Avenue/9th Street station this past Monday morning, and was transferring to the F when she walked by a woman she now says was 40-year-old Anna Lushchinskaya.

“As I was passing her she stuck her arm out and like, side punched me with her keys in her knuckles,” the passenger said. “I stumbled, caught myself, kept walking and turned around because she was screaming at me to leave her alone. She called me a ‘psycho bitch,’ and I still had my headphones on so I couldn’t completely catch what she said because I was so taken off guard.”

Charming bit of projection there on the part of our racist subway serial assailant, no?

Oh, and here’s the best part of the whole story, from Heavy again:

She has a Legal Aid lawyer, Jacob Bradley Rolls. She is due back in court Jan. 22, 2019. Legal Aid is provided to the indigent, people who are poor or otherwise cannot afford a lawyer. Lushchinskaya is a lawyer who reportedly earns $110,000 a year.

“The Legal Aid Society exists for one simple yet powerful reason: to ensure that no New Yorker is denied their right to equal justice because of poverty,” the website says.

She carries Louis Vuitton, as can be clearly seen in the video. Her address is listed as 2940 W. 33 Street, feet from the Atlantic Ocean sandwiched between Seagate and Coney Island, known as O’Dwyer Gardens. A building owned by the New York City Housing Authority; public housing.

So, our charming subway racist is using a public-assistance lawyer and living in public-assistance housing, even though she is herself a lawyer, a member of the New York Bar Association as of 2005, and makes $110,000 US a year.

She’s rich enough to schlepp a Louis Vuitton bag (which you can tell even at a distance by the distinctive print on the material) full of mace and other assorted things which could double as improvised weapons (and no doubt have done so in the past).

She’s mentally competent enough to prepare for an anticipated fight with a younger and smaller woman.

She’s mentally competent enough to work, and could probably represent herself in court, but she’s using a Legal Aid attorney who could otherwise be helping someone in far greater need.

She’s also well-off enough to afford non-social housing, even in the ghastly-overpriced New York housing market, but she’s living in social housing, taking a unit away from an impoverished family that needs it.

But there she is, trying to play the victim, screaming “you won’t even let me hit her back”, when the woman she’s trying to assault didn’t hit her in the first place.

In short, a more obvious case of white privilege you could hardly hope to find.

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