A New York man faces up to 25 years in state prison after pleading guilty to 14 felony charges, including attempted murder as a hate crime. Prosecutors say Robert McCallion from Westchester County repeatedly stabbed a 17-year-old Black girl while she was visiting family in the same apartment complex where McCallion lived last year, reports NBC New York.
The prosecutors said the two were strangers at the time of the incident on March 13, 2020, adding that McCallion hurled racial slurs at the victim as he stabbed her. Police arrested him after he was discovered in the parking lot of the apartment complex with blood on his hands and person. The used weapon was also found at the scene.
The victim, whose identity has not been revealed, was found inside the building with her family, with large amounts of blood pouring from her multiple stab wounds to her face and back. She was rushed from the scene to the hospital where she underwent emergency surgery.
“This was a brutal, despicable and cowardly attack by Robert McCallion on an innocent young woman because of the color of her skin,” Miriam Rocah, Westchester County District Attorney, said when announcing the plea on Tuesday. “Hate crimes such as this not only traumatize the victim, but the community as well, and will be prosecuted aggressively by this office.”
Police found several weapons inside McCallion’s apartment, including two loaded assault rifles in his room. Two days after his arrest, officials say he also attacked a medical person at Westchester County Jail where he was being held.
“This isn’t a story we look forward to covering. If we never had to respond to another assault that would be just fine. This type of thing isn’t the norm for Ossining (not even close) but it’s a stark reminder that violence can happen anywhere and that hatred can exist even in the most peaceful corners of our community,” the Ossining Police Department wrote of McCallion’s indictment.
“This is not a celebration, but it’s an important moment to stand with our neighbors and reaffirm the unwavering position of our Department. It took some time because that’s how investigations go, but this indictment makes it crystal clear – we will not tolerate violence and will not allow hatred to take root in our community,” the department added.
According to Lohud, his complete list of charges includes second-degree attempted murder, second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, two counts of first-degree assault as a hate crime, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.
Supreme Court Justice Barry Warhit has agreed to give McCallion a sentence of 15 years in prison when he stands for his official sentencing on Nov. 16. McCallion’s attorney did not comment on the plea.