An interracial couple from Brooklyn had to endure violent, racist attacks from two White men this past Saturday. Anna, a White woman originally from Moldova, and John, a 42-year-old Black man from Trinidad, were planning to celebrate their sixth anniversary when the attacks occurred outside Coney Island Hospital. They had just parked their car at 5:50 a.m. on Saturday when an intoxicated Bernard Szurant and Rudolph Evmenenko started shouting racial slurs at John, according to the victims and police reports.
“This is our neighborhood you f*cking n*ggers! Get out of here!” Szurant, 25, and Evmenenko, 27, allegedly screamed. According to court documents the two belligerent men were threatening to “crack (John) open.”
“They were basically torturing (John),” Anna said. “They couldn’t hit him because he’s tall and they were smaller, (but) they literally attached to his body and wouldn’t let go. Like leeches.” John says he tried to keep the assailants away from Anna, who got involved in the altercation.
Eventually, things escalated into violent threats. “Go back to your neighborhood, we’re going to lynch you, you f*cking charcoal burner,” one of the suspects reportedly yelled. The verbal attacks eventually got physical and the two men began hitting John repeatedly in the face, cops said. John tried to defend himself and suffered a gash to his arm, according to court documents.
“A couple times they feigned that they had a weapon, acted like they had a gun, and that was a bit unnerving,” John said. “I said to him, ‘You’re not a man if you can’t use your hands.’”
John was able to fend the two racist men off thanks to his professional boxing past. Anna also got involved by pushing and kicking the two guys. “I started praying and begging God to help us,” she said.
Eventually, the police showed up and they pulled the two men off of John. They took them into custody, but not before Szurant threatened the Black NYPD detective. According to the police, he yelled, “I know you…I know where you work. I am going to come to the 61st Precinct and f*cking kill you, you f*cking n*gger.”
The two attackers were released from jail following a brief Sunday arraignment. They were ordered to stay away from Anna and John. The couple said the whole incident has made them closer and more understanding of each other.
“I’ve always felt that living in this part of Brooklyn there is this sort of deep-seated racism,” John said. “For them to make that attack based on pure racism is a sad sort of commentary on where we are at in this society at this given time…It’s disappointing, it was scary, it was unnerving, but thank God we didn’t get hurt.”