Two Muslim women in their 20s were assaulted while walking their children in strollers near Cropsey Avenue and Bay 20th Street in Bath Beach on Thursday, September 8.
Emirjeta Xhelili, 32, of Cropsey Avenue, reportedly approached the women, 23 and 24, near the east corner of Bay 20th Street at around 1:30 p.m. and began shouting anti-Muslim slurs at them, according to police.
Cops say that Xhelili then proceeded to assault the women, attempting to remove their veils. Reports also claim that she pushed the babies over in their strollers while attacking the two women. The 32-year-old allegedly fled the scene but was apprehended by officers soon after.
According to police, Xhelili was charged with assault as a hate crime, reckless endangerment of a child and criminal tampering of evidence.
“Our community is an incredibly diverse place, with respect being the common bond holding us together,” said Assemblymember Pamela Harris. “That’s why [this] hate crime deeply troubles me. We can’t ignore the blatant anti-Muslim attacks that are spiking throughout New York City. Discrimination affects all of us, and we must continue to fight back as one united community.”
“I would like to strongly commend Captain Anthony V. Sanseverino and the entire 62nd Precinct for their swift apprehension of an individual that assaulted two Muslim women and their young children simply because of their faith,” added Councilmember Mark Treyger. “The person responsible has been charged with a hate crime, a felony assault, and I am strongly urging the district attorney’s office to uphold this serious charge and deliver justice. This vicious hate crime has no place in our community. An attack on one person is an attack against us all, and we must all stand together against hate.”