A man is facing hate crime charges for allegedly attacking a Muslim woman and yelling offensive slurs at her and a coworker.
Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, said she and her deputy director were harassed and assaulted by a man outside her office on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge Wednesday.
She said the suspect, identified by police as 45-year-old Brian Boschell, yelled at them, "You are cutting people's heads off. I'm going to cut your head off and see how your people feel."
The mother of three said he then ran after them and threw a garbage can at them, forcing them into oncoming traffic.
"If we weren't young and fit, we were running pretty fast, and if that garbage can, it's about 150 pounds, if that would have fell on us or hit us in the back, it could have really injured us really badly," Sarsour said.
"He has 56 prior arrests in the area," said Bob Boyce, the New York City Police Department's chief of detectives. "He's local, known as a local problem for us there. He did not resist arrest and he did not make a statement as to doing this, but he's under arrest and he's charged with hate crimes."
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will never condone such glaring acts of bigotry and intolerance.
The Anti-Defamation League praised police for making a quick arrest.