By T.A. Hendrickson
Prosecutors have alleged a hate crime in their criminal complaint against Yasmine Beasley, 23, of Palmdale, who has been charged with felony elder abuse and misdemeanor battery for allegedly assaulting a 70-year old woman on a Metro bus in Eagle Rock on April 9, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney.
Beasley, who reportedly voiced an anti-Chinese racial slur before the alleged attack, pleaded not guilty to the charges on April 27.
The law imposes additional penalties when a felony or misdemeanor is also proven to be a hate crime perpetrated because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity or other protected status.
The victim in the Beasley case, identified as Becky, age 70, is Mexican American and a longtime resident of Highland Park, according to her son, Peter, who told the Eastsider that the family is often mistaken for Asian. Peter provided photos to the Eastsider and other media outlets of his mother’s battered condition, including severe bruises, a broken nose and a concussion that required hospitalization. He said the attack occurred as his mother was getting ready to exit the bus to go shopping at Vons at Figueroa Street and La Loma Road.
The attack came amid a nationwide surge of harassment and violence directed at Asian Americans, setting NELA and other communities on edge.
According to inmate records, Beasley has three previous arrests — October 24, 2019, February 6, 2020 and December 19, 2020 — all of which are shown as misdemeanor level. After two of the arrests she was released on her own recognizance as the cases made their way through the system. After one of the arrests she was released for time served after 14 days in custody.
Beasley has been in custody since her arrest on April 9. She is due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 10.