A woman who allegedly snatched a hijab from the head of a Saudi Arabian college student and tried to choke her with it has been charged with hate crimes, authorities in Portland, Oregon, said.
Jasmine Renee Campbell, 23, allegedly took the hijab from the head of the 24-year-old Portland State University exchange student on Nov. 12 at a transit stop, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said Friday in a statement.
Campbell also allegedly rubbed the hijab against the woman's body.
"Court documents allege that Campbell used the hijab and rubbed it on and across multiple exposed sexually intimate parts of her body," the office said.
Campbell faces two counts of bias crime, one count of attempted strangulation, one count of harassment and one count of criminal mischief, prosecutors said. A warrant was issued for her arrest because she did not appear in court Friday, they said.
The victim, whose name wasn't released by police, told officers she no longer feels safe wearing a hijab, a traditional head covering and veil used by some Muslim women.
"My heart goes out to the survivor here, who's been deeply traumatized," said Zakir Khan, Oregon chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
He said similar crimes have been on the rise since 2016 and have led to Muslims avoiding their mosques and halting traditional dress.
"These situations lead to vicarious trauma in surrounding communities," Khan said.