According to authorities this Thursday, a Massachusetts man was charged with a hate crime after he threatened an airline employee who was wearing a Muslim head scarf, telling her “Trump is here now” and “he will get rid of all of you.”
Robin A. Rhodes, 57, had just arrived at Kennedy International Airport and was waiting to board another flight when he approached Rabeeya Khan, who was wearing a headscarf known as a hijab.
“Are you praying? What are you doing?” Rhodes allegedly said before he punched Khan’s office door, sending it flying into the back of her chair. According to a statement, he then threatened her and kicked her in the leg. When she tried to leave, he blocked her from the doorway.
From The New York Times:
When another person tried to calm him, he moved away from the door and Ms. Khan ran to the front desk of the lounge, according to the statement. Mr. Rhodes followed her, got on his knees and began to bow down in imitation of a Muslim praying and shouted expletives about Islam and ISIS, the prosecutor’s office said.
In an apparent reference to Muslims, he said, according to the prosecutor’s office: “You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You will see what happens.”
— Boston Today (@TodayBostonMA) January 28, 2017
Rhodes was charged with “assault, unlawful imprisonment, menacing and harassment as hate crimes,” and other related charges.
The Times reports that Rhodes claimed that he didn’t know his victim’s gender at the time of the assault.
“I guess I am going to jail for disorderly conduct. I couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman because their back was to me and they had something covering their head,” he reportedly said.