A Brooklyn woman who allegedly threw hot coffee and yelled Islamophobic slurs at a man of Indian descent and his 18-month-old son has been arrested and charged with multiple hate crimes, according to the New York City Police Department. The arrest was made almost two weeks after a viral video of the incident circulated online.
Ashish Prashar, 40, who was wearing a keffiyeh, a black and white Palestinian scarf, was with his son at a Fort Greene playground Nov. 7 when the woman approached him, yelling at him, striking him and throwing her phone and coffee at him, he told NBC New York after the incident.
“You and your son get away,” she’s recorded saying in the video. Police said she made anti-Muslim statements directed at the two of them.
Hadasa Bozakkaravani, 48, was arrested Tuesday and charged with nine counts, including four hate crimes: assault, assault of a person under 11, reckless endangerment, aggravated harassment and menacing, according to police.
She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on her own recognizance.
Prashar, who recorded the attack and went viral, has been outspoken about Palestinian rights and mass deaths in the Gaza Strip during the Israel-Hamas war. The keffiyeh he was wearing has been a garment often donned at pro-Palestinian rallies as a show of solidarity.
He told NBC New York that the scarf was given to him more than a decade ago in the occupied West Bank by a Christian Palestinian. He said he was holding his child when Bozakkaravani called him a terrorist and began hurling objects at him. If he hadn’t put his son down, he said, the child could have been burned by her coffee.
“This is post-9/11 again,” Prashar said. “Like every brown person now is a target. We’ve been completely dehumanized by our president and our institutions.”
Bozakkaravani’s lawyer did not immediately return a phone call from NBC News.
In tweets about the incident, Prashar expressed frustration that the NYPD took two weeks to make an arrest. Police representatives did not respond to NBC News’ question about why it took so long.
“No parent should feel unsafe to take their child to a playground because someone decides you are less than human,” Prashar said.