Man charged with attempted murder, hate crime in Koreatown hammer attack

Posted at 11:35 AM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 15:34:26-04

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A man who repeatedly beat a woman with a hammer in Koreatown has been charged with attempted murder and a hate crime enhancement, authorities said Thursday.

The 24-year-old woman was attacked at about 6 p.m. Friday outside a business in the 1000 block of South Vermont Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

A security guard saw what was happening and stopped the attack, which was captured on surveillance video, and, along with a witness, held the suspect until police arrived and arrested him, LAPD Capt. David Kowalski said.

The woman suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital, where she received treatment and was released, Kowalski said.

The suspect, identified as Jae Won Yang, 22, who is a Korean national, targeted the woman because she was female and Korean, the captain said. Police said he asked her if she was Korean and set upon her after she answered yes.

Yang was charged on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted murder with allegations that he inflicted great bodily injury, that he used a hammer as a deadly and dangerous weapon and a hate crime allegation, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

He is due back in court on March 27 for the setting of a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial, Santiago said.

Yang is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles in lieu of $1.075 million bail.