According to authorities, Khari Covington, 29, attacked at least nine different female victims in a months-long string of assaults motivated by race and gender. He is being charged with eight counts of assault as a hate crime and one count of attempted robbery as a hate crime. Covington is a black male who targetted what authorities are describing as “light-skinned female” victims.
The attacks began last August and primarily occurred inside transit stations. Most of the attacks occurred in and around the Morgan Avenue Subway station. The NYPD had previously arrested fifty-year-old Benny Watts in late December for four of the attacks. He was released two days later and the charges were voided. Watts is apparently a homeless man who had been in the same area at the same time as some of the attacks.
Four of the attacks occurred between November 17th and December 28th. A 24-year-old woman was beaten and suffered cuts on November 17th. A 24-year-old woman was beaten on December 11th. A 26-year-old woman was sucker-punched in the eye on December 26th. A 32-year-old woman was beaten and hospitalized on December 28th.
Police finally caught him shortly after he attacked a woman in a Brooklyn smoke shop. He entered at 4:50 PM on January 4th. He walked straight behind the counter and savagely beat a 27-year-old female clerk over and over. The attack was captured on surveillance video. He then left the shop without taking anything and was arrested the next day. The police are calling the Smoke Shop attack “an attempted robbery.”
Covington was arraigned Wednesday evening, January 6th.
Covington is an ex-con who spent two years behind bars for beating and robbing a deliveryman in 2013. After being released in 2015, he beat and robbed a 59-year-old woman. He went back to prison until he was paroled in April 2020. He began his serial attacks around the subway station four months later.
Surveillance video of the attack at the Brooklyn Smoke Shop is available online.