New York Police made a second arrest Friday in the attack of a Muslim family in Queens, New York, reports QNS.
A Queens Criminal Court Judge arraigned Eric Leon, 37 on charges of assault as a hate crime, two counts of aggravated harassment, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Last month, police arrested his girlfriend, Giselle DeJesus, for the same incident, reported AsAmNews.
According to News India Times, prosecutors accused Leon of physically assaulting Khaled Aly in front of his wife and two children outside their apartment building in Rego Park, Queens. Aly’s wife, Neamat Taha, says that the assault occurred after DeJesus allegedly harassed her and grabbed her hijab, prompting Aly to step in.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office announced Leon’s arrest and detailed the assault on Friday, stating that “once Mr. Aly was defenseless on the pavement the defendant allegedly shouted obscenities, threatened to kill the man’s entire family and kicked the victim repeatedly in the head and face.”
The attack left Aly hospitalized and in need of surgery for fractured bones in his face. Taha says that she and her children have been afraid to return to their home since the incident occurred.
“Perpetrators of hate crimes must be held accountable everywhere,
certainly in the most diverse county in the nation. The defendant charged in this case allegedly attacked a couple – his own neighbors – because of his hate and prejudice against Muslims. The victim was terrorized and physically beaten as his wife and children cowered in fear. The defendant will answer for his alleged actions,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
If found guilty, Leon faces up to 15 years in prison.
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