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Edison juvenile allegedly yelled racial slurs at Asian woman for COVID-19 origins

EDISON – A female juvenile has been charged with bias intimidation following an incident where she allegedly yelled racial slurs at an Asian woman regarding the origins of COVID-19.

The incident occurred on April 4. The juvenile, whose name will not be released due to her age, was arrested on April 14, according to information provided by Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet and Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan.

The investigation determined the juvenile and a group of others surrounded a 55-year-old Asian woman. The juvenile allegedly yelled racial slurs regarding the origins of the coronavirus at the victim. The juvenile then punched the woman on the back of the head, officials said in the statement.

The juvenile is charged with bias intimidation in the third degree; riot in the fourth degree; simple assault, a disorderly persons offense; and harassment and disorderly conduct, both petty disorderly persons offenses. In addition, the juvenile has been charged with one count of violation of the state Emergency Order because her presence outdoors on April 4 was not authorized or deemed essential, officials said.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Edison Police Department are continuing to investigate the incident pursuant to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s Bias Incident Investigation Standards due to the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Jeffrey Tierny of the Edison Police Department at 732-248-7400 or Detective Jason Mendelson of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-5948.

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