East Harlem, New York City’s Bobby Eli arrested, accused of menacing Asian elderly woman in Midtown

Bobby Eli (©Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information)

Bobby Eli (©Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information)

Bobby Eli, 48, of East Harlem, Upper Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States was arrested on March 26, 2021. He was charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree as a hate crime and menacing in the third degree as a hate crime.

Eli is accused of menacing an Asian woman, 65, in Midtown, New York on the afternoon of March 25, 2021. He allegedly approached her on West 40th Street near Port Authority in New York City and mocked her blue hairdo.

“You, stupid Chinese blue hair, you stupid Chinese b***h,” Eli told the Asian elderly woman, sources told the New York Post. “Why you have blue hair, b***h?”

While pushing a stroller full of unknown objects, Eli allegedly frightened the Asian woman by swinging an unknown object toward her. She was able to take a photo of him with her cellphone.

On the afternoon of March 28, 2021, Eli was arraigned and his bail was set at $1, a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney told NBC New York. On the same day, the New York City Police Department‘s hate crimes task force said they were searching for an unidentified man who struck another Asian woman made anti-Asian statements at around 8:45 p.m. on March 27, 2021 at the subway station near 51st Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City.

The NYPD did not release Eli’s mug shot. His victim’s name was not released either.


Also known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio, East Harlem is a neighborhood of Upper Manhattan. It is part of Manhattan Community District 11 and patrolled by the 23rd and 25th precincts of the NYPD.

East Harlem is one of the largest predominantly Hispanic communities in New York City. Many of the residents in the neighborhood are from Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

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