A Massachusetts man was charged with hate crimes Friday for attacking a Muslim airline worker at a New York City airport while declaring that President Trump “will get rid of all of you.”
“Trump is here now,” 57-year-old Robin Rhodes allegedly yelled at the woman during the unprovoked attack, authorities said. “You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You will see what happens.”
Rhodes, who is from Worcester, now faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted of third-degree assault, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, third-degree menacing and other hate crimes charges stemming from the alleged attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“The bigotry and hatred that the defendant is accused of manifesting and acting upon have no place in civilized society — especially in Queens County, the most culturally diverse county in the nation,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
Rabeeya Khan was in her office at the Delta Sky Lounge on Wednesday evening and wearing a hijab on her head when Rhodes, who had arrived from Aruba and waiting for his connecting flight to Massachusetts, came over and launched into a foul-mouthed tirade, Brown said.
“Are you (expletive) sleeping?” Rhodes allegedly demanded. “Are you praying? What are you doing?”
Rhodes then allegedly slugged the door, which hit the back of Khan’s chair and prompted the Delta worker to ask him what she had done.
“You did nothing but I am going to kick your (expletive) ass,” Rhodes allegedly said.
Then Rhodes kicked Khan in the leg, authorities said.
Khan tried to flee her office and Rhodes allegedly blocked her path, Brown said. And when she was finally able to get away, Rhodes then got down on his knees mimicked the manner in which Muslims pray, saying “(expletive) Islam, (expletive) ISIS, Trump is here now.”
When police arrived, Rhodes allegedly told the officers, “I guess I am going to jail for disorderly conduct. I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman because their back was to me and they had something covering their head.”