DA: Bottle-throwing woman threatened runner, told her to 'go back to Africa'

A Queens woman faces hate crime charges for allegedly spewing a racist tirade and throwing a glass bottle at a Black woman who was out for a run last month.

Lorena Delaguna, 53, is accused of hurling a bottle and racial slurs at Tiffany Johnson, 37, as she ran along a sidewalk in Woodside on Aug. 17, according to authorities and reports. A security camera captured part of the incident on video.

Delaguna, who lives a few blocks from where the incident happened, was arraigned on attempted assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment charges on Tuesday morning, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

"In addition to allegedly yelling the N-word, the defendant in this case is also accused of throwing a bottle in an attempt to strike the victim," Katz said in a written statement. 

The bottle shattered on the ground, splashing liquid on Johnson, who can be seen on the video jumping to avoid it.

Delaguna is accused of yelling and cursing at Johnson, telling her to "get out of here and go back to Africa," and following her for at least a block while continuing to yell and threaten her, according to Katz's statement.

In an interview with the New York Post last week before Delaguna was arrested, Johnson said, "It's a hate crime. It's not acceptable. She has to be [held] responsible for her behavior."

"Crimes like this, which are fueled by hate, are in a special category for a reason," Katz said in her statement. "No one should have to endure being called a vile slur or being attacked simply because of the color of their skin, their religion, or who they love."

The NYPD released the security camera video last week. Police arrested Delaguna on Monday. 

At the arraignment on Tuesday, Queens Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Gershuny ordered Delaguna to return to court on Sept. 25.

A Legal Aid attorney is representing Delaguna. The Associated Press left a message seeking comment.

With The AP

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