Charges have been dropped against the man accused of attacking an 83-year-old Korean American woman in White Plains last month, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Mimi Rocah released a statement on Tuesday asserting that while her office will prosecute anyone who commits a hate crime, there was not enough evidence found during the investigation to indict Glenmore Nembhard. She said aspects of the identification of Nembhard would be rendered inadmissible and unusable in court.
“We have now determined that available evidence beyond the inadmissible identification is not sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect originally arrested committed the assault as charged,” Rocah said. “As justice requires, we are dismissing all charges against this individual.”
Nembhard, a 40-year-old homeless man, was arrested and charged with assault in the second degree with intent to cause physical injury to a person who is 65 years of age or older, a D felony. At the time of his arrest, he admitted that he had been angry for several days.
He was later remanded to Westchester County Jail.
On March 9, Nancy Toh was attacked outside The Westchester mall at the corner of Westchester Avenue and Bloomingdale Road between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. After her attacker spat on her and punched her in the face, she fell to the ground, hit her head, and blacked out, according to White Plains Police Chief Joe Castelli.
When she came to, the suspect had fled the scene, but Toh was found by a passerby who helped her up and brought her home. Toh contacted White Plains police the next day and reported the incident.
Detectives canvassed the area for evidence, interviewed witnesses and reviewed surveillance cameras, Castelli said. Nembhard was taken into custody the next day near Westchester and Kensico avenues, Castelli said, adding that he had placed himself at the location of the attack.
While there’s currently no evidence linking to a trend of violence against minorities in White Plains, attacks on Asian Americans in metropolitan cities have become more widespread since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Several Westchester and state officials have vocalized their intent to combat all forms of hate and racism in recent weeks.
Rocah and County Executive George Latimer recently launched a new campaign called #SpeakUpWestchester to ensure immediate assistance is provided if a hate or bias incident occurs.
Part of the campaign includes social media graphics available in English, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish, with instructions on what to do and who to contact if a crime has been committed. The county’s Human Rights Commission also introduced a new webpage to report incidents of bias, hate or discrimination anonymously or with your contact information.
Additionally, Rocah’s office has created a new 24-hour multilingual hotline for the public to report hate crimes, bias incidents, victimization of immigrants, elder abuse, wage theft and other labor-related violations, law enforcement misconduct, public corruption, and other potential criminal matters.
Rocah said the March 9 assault will remain under investigation by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
Anyone who has information about this crime is encouraged to call the DA’s Office hotline at 914-995-TIPS and choose the option for hate crimes, in any of the available languages.