A Black woman who was attacked by a racist New York resident while jogging in Queens is moving forward with unwavering self-assurance and putting the burden on the suspect to conduct some introspective analysis.
"Her issues, whatever her actions were, are a reflection on her, it's not my problem, it's her problem," Tiffany Johnson told ABC 7.
The 37-year-old jogger was seen in a viral video this week. In the video, a white woman is seen throwing a bottle at Johnson while she's running on August 17. Speaking with ABC7, Johnson said the woman had also used racial slurs.
"She was so loud and aggressive," Johnson said Wednesday. "She did call me the N-word, and I mean I'm not an N-word, none of us are, but the reality is that this woman felt that she needed me to be that and I would just say that she needs to look into herself as to why."
The runner, who tried to keep moving forward after the attack, said the woman continued to pursue her.
"She followed me up the block, was screaming get out of here, go back to Africa, N-word,'" Johnson said.
When she saw the viral video online a couple of days later, the jogger went to the police to show the evidence. Since then, authorities have been searching for the suspect, who is described as woman in her 40s with a light complexion, around 5-foot-5 and 160 pounds, with blue eyes and long blonde hair.
Meanwhile, Johnson has been getting support from community groups such as Black Girls Run, which organizes running events around the country and advocates for the health of Black women.
Johnson almost gave the woman the benefit of the doubt when the incident first happened, thinking maybe she was trying to throw the bottle at somebody else. But the runner quickly realized that she had become the target of a racial attack.
“She could see the color of my skin and she reacted to that,” Johnson told The New York Post.
The vBlack woman is now clearly stating that racism will not be tolerated.
“It’s a hate crime,” she told The Post. “It’s not acceptable. She has to be [held] responsible for her behavior.”
Although she was shocked at first, the runner took advantage of her adrenaline and continued to move forward instead of reacting.
"When you have adrenaline going, the first thing for me was to get out of the situation," she said.
Johnson hasn't gone back to that neighborhood of Queens since the attack, but she is determined to keep living her life as she wants.
“I’m entitled to go for a jog, live my life, enjoy my life and enjoy the things that makes me happy,” the resolute woman said.
She also hopes that the incident will help other people avoid similar situations.
“I’m glad the video surfaced so, hopefully, she won’t do this to someone else,” Johnson said. “People shouldn’t have to deal with that type of behavior.”
Anyone with information on the incident is being asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).