New York, NY – A Long Island man and woman have both been fired from their jobs and charged with racially harassing a family on a train in New York Penn Station earlier this month.
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Justin Likerman, 37, and Kristin Digesaro, 39, were arrested and charged with aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child after they were caught on cell-phone camera verbally attacking and threatening a family on the train.
Liz Edelkind said that she, her husband, her 10-year-old son and two others were on their way home from a New York Knicks game when they became the target of the angry, hate-filled tirade from the couple. Edelkind says the incident started because she and her family were looking for seats together and asked other passengers on the train if they could move to accommodate them.
Edelkind says that is when the man and woman started yelling at them, she believes because of their skin color and accent.
In the 27 second video posted on twitter, an angered Likerman can be heard saying, “Don’t look at me, don’t fucking look at me. These fucking foreigners ain’t taking over my country.”
Edelkin says the couple threw beer at them, cursed at them and called them immigrants.
“They threw beer at us. My pastor and her husband, and my husband, got in the way to protect me,” Edelkind said.
Edelkind said the couple left the train after she alerted the conductor.
After the video surfaced on social media, the couple were let go from their jobs at Empire Toyota of Huntington.
The company said on Facebook: “Empire Toyota ownership and management were outraged by the event involving two of its employees this past Monday night on the Long Island Rail Road,” the Huntington Station dealership wrote on Facebook on Thursday, Jan. 13. “The two employees were suspended when we first heard about this incident, and, as our investigation just concluded, they have been terminated.”
The MTA said the charges are in collaboration with Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the Hate Crimes Unit.
SHARE!!!EXPOSE THE RACISTS!— Osman Canales (@Osman_C1) January 12, 2022
This is a hate attack that happened ron #LongIsland this week 1/10/2022 to a family and a 10 yr old, while in the #LIRR Train.Identified as Kristen Digesaro boyfriend Justin likerman both work @ HuntingtonEmpireToyota631-364-0172#LongIsland #HateCrime pic.twitter.com/mWT9nv5YHS