A woman in Queens, New York was arrested and is facing hate crime charges after she and her partner attacked a Muslim family earlier this month.
What happened: The incident happened on Nov. 6 when 35-year-old Giselle DeJesus beat up Khaled Aly in front of his wife, Neamat Taha, and their two children outside of their home in Rego Park, Queens, according to Queens Daily Eagle.
DeJesus, who also lives in Rego Park, and an unnamed man approached Aly, his wife and their children in a parking lot before the attack, NBC New York reported.
“She tells me we are in America, we can do whatever we want, we can look at you whatever we want, we can say whatever we want,” the wife said. “She starts to hold my hijab like this, and she tells me a lot of bad words about Muslims.”
The woman grabbed Taha’s hijab while hurling obscenities at her. DeJesus’ partner then attacked Aly when he tried to intervene.
“He starts yelling, ‘Guys, just stay away from my family, why you keep scare us.’ He holds him right away, and he starts to push him, he fell on the floor, both started kicking him,” Taha said, describing the moment her husband was attacked by the woman and her partner.
“We’re gonna kill you and kill your family,” Taha said the attacking couple told them. “He showed me something shiny, I don’t know what kind of weapon, and said, ‘I have a weapon, if I saw you here anymore, I will burn you and burn your kids.”
The attackers reportedly called Aly a “f—ing Muslim.”
Aly suffered extensive injuries to his face and required surgery. (Warning: Graphic images)
Other details: The NYPD did not launch an investigation into the matter as they believed the assault was not “a bias incident”, but after pressure from the community, authorities determined the attack “may have been motivated by the victim’s religious beliefs.”
“Recently, additional information has come to light and the 112th Precinct Detective Squad and the Hate Crime Task Force along with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office will be seeking to charge this incident as a Hate Crime,” 112th Precinct Commander Joseph Cappelmann said on Nov. 12.
Taha and her children were first harassed by DeJesus on Sept. 27 on the same street in Rego Park.
Aly was released from the hospital on Nov. 13, but Taha said their family is now afraid to go home after the incident.
“My kids, they never sleep from that time, they’re so afraid,” the mother said. “They tell me, ‘We so afraid, we need to leave that area.'”
The aftermath: DeJesus was arrested on Nov. 12 for the reported assault.
She was arraigned the day after her arrest and is now facing charges of assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and disorderly conduct, Patch reported.
DeJesus’ unidentified partner remains at large, but New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ legal director, Ahmed Mohamed, remains hopeful for his arrest.
“We are hopeful that the male suspect will soon be arrested and charged so that the family can feel safe again,” Ahmed Mohamed said.
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