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Woman, 47, charged with hate crimes in pepper-spray attack on Asian women

A woman who spewed anti-Asian remarks and pepper-sprayed four women in Chelsea has been arrested and charged with hate crimes, police said.

Madeline Barker, 47, of Merritt Island, Fla., was awaiting an appearance early Saturday in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime and harassment as a hate crime, the NYPD said.

The disturbing June 11 attack was partly caught on video.

The suspect, dressed in bright fuchsia, was captured on camera screaming at a group of Asian women, “Go back where you came from!” 

“I thought I would be safe in the middle of Chelsea, in the middle of the day, with so many people around,” victim Nicole, 24, told The Post earlier this week. But “it is not safe going out in the city as an Asian person. … It’s scary in New York.” 

Nicole, a graphic designer, said she and three female friends – another 24-year-old and two 25-year-olds – had left the L.E.A.F flower show in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on Saturday and were at 14th Street and Ninth Avenue in Chelsea when they realized around 6 p.m. that one of them had misplaced a bag in the area.

Florida woman Madeline Barker was arrested and charged with hate crimes for allegedly pepper spraying Asian women in Manhattan on June 11.

The unhinged suspect encountered the group and claimed, ‘You’re harassing me,’” the victim said.

The matter escalated and the victim said her group told the stranger, ‘We’re not harassing you, we’re trying to work out which direction to walk.’

“She said ‘I know what you’re trying to do, you’re trying to harass me,’” she recalled. “I responded, ‘We’re not trying to bother you, but if you want us to move, you can ask nicely.’ 

Barker allegedly told the women to “go back where you came from" before spraying them.
Barker allegedly told the women to “go back where you came from” before spraying them.

The victim explained that she was born in the US and raised in the city, she said.

One of the women started to record the enraged suspect, who then smacked the phone out of her hand.

“Then she turned to an Asian bystander who we didn’t know and said, ‘Take your bitches back to where you all came from,’” Nicole said.

The attacker then pepper-sprayed the foursome and ran, cops said.

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