A man has been charged with a hate crime for launching into a drunken anti-Muslim tirade late Monday night, threatening several employees at a midtown Manhattan restaurant and hitting one in the face, The New York Daily News reported.
After ordering a slice of pizza at Salt & Pepper, Brooklyn resident Robert Murino quickly turned against the employees serving him, asking them if they were Muslims and if they supported the Islamic State. He reportedly told Salt & Pepper employee Lina Parvin that he planned to “fuck you up” and punched her co-worker Tahir Mahood for trying to calm him down.
The staff managed to escort Murino out of the restaurant but he soon returned and smashed two glass partitions at the food counter with a chair, according to the report.
Police then responded, charging Murino with criminal mischief as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime.
Mahood later told the Daily News that he was surprised by Murino’s xenophobic outburst.
“I’ve been here for the last two years and nothing ever happened like this before,” Mahood said. “As a Muslim, I want to be polite. I don’t want to fight anyone.”
The restaurant’s employees were immigrants from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, according to the report.
The restaurant outburst was one of many anti-Muslim crimes reported around New York City since a married Muslim couple fatally shot 14 people at an office party in San Bernardino, California.
New York Magazine reported that Sarker Haque, the owner of Fatima Food Mart in Queens, was brutally beaten by a man who told him “I kill Muslims.” The attacker, 55-year-old Florida resident Piro Kolvani, was charged with misdemeanor assault and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
On Wednesday, a Muslim woman was kicked and called “trash” while waiting for the bus in Brooklyn, according to the Daily News.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has reached out to New York Muslims, urging them to report hate crimes and sending staffers to visit mosques and meet with community leaders.
Watch video of Murino’s the incident at Salt & Pepper below, via the Daily News: