A man has been arrested and charged for attacking Rep. Maryam Khan (D, CT-5) after she attended an Eid al-Adha service with her family in Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday morning.
Key details: Speaking to the Connecticut branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Khan said the attacker, identified as 30-year-old Andrey Desmond, approached her at Hartford’s XL Center after the Wednesday service.
CAIR-CT noted that Khan was with her sister, three children — her 15-year-old daughter, her 10-year-old daughter and her 12-year-old son — and a female friend at the time.
Desmond made obscene remarks before grabbing Khan, hitting her and throwing her to the ground, Khan told CAIR-CT.
The man reportedly tried to flee the scene, but a bystander chased him and held him down him until the police came.
What the authorities are saying: Hartford Police noted that Desmond attacked a public figure without specifically naming Khan. Desmond was found near the crime scene around the area of Trumbull and Chapel streets.
Desmond is now facing second-degree unlawful restraint, third-degree assault, second-degree breach of peace and interfering with police charges.
What CAIR-CT is saying: In a statement, CAIR-CT Chair Farhan Memon urged local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to look into the attack on Khan and to ensure the safety of the Muslim community in Connecticut during Eid al-Adha celebrations.
“All too often we have seen American Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim, targeted by hate because of their attire, race or ethnicity,” Memon added.
Other statements: Connecticut House Speaker Matt Ritter and House Majority Leader Jason Rojas acknowledged the incident in a joint statement, noting that the State Capitol Police have assured them they are working with Hartford Police to “conduct a full and thorough investigation.”
Who is Khan: A Pakistani-born lawmaker, Khan made history as the first Muslim elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives after winning the special election in March 2022 with almost 75% of the votes.
Prior to starting a career in politics, Khan served as a special educational needs teacher.