New Jersey, January 15
: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department arrested Mohamed Hassanain in a hate crime case, where he had assaulted an Indian-origin Sikh taxi driver at John F. Kennedy International Airport, on January 3.
A video of the incident went viral, where accused Hassanain can be seen shouting at the victim - “go back to your country”, “turbaned people” in an insulting way. Hassanain then punched, pushed the Sikh driver, then went on to rip off his turban.
Hassanain has been charged with assault in the 3rd degree as a hate crime, assault in the third degree, and aggravated harassment in the second degree. The accused is set to be arraigned on January 15 by competent court. The Sikh Coalition, a community-based civil and human rights organisation, thanked the police for the quick action taken.
Amrith Kaur Aakre, the Legal Director of the Sikh Coalition, said, "We are grateful to the Port Authority Police Department and Queens District Attorney’s Office for their prompt action on this case, and for recognizing that the attack on Mr Singh included clear anti-Sikh bias."
The victim was angered and shocked when he was assaulted for nothing. He said, "I am thankful for law enforcement, the Sikh Coalition, and all those in the community who have offered their strength in this difficult time. No one should experience what I did–but if they do, I hope they receive the same overwhelming amount of support and quick, professional action by the authorities in response."