NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A 12-year-old Staten Island boy accused of trying to rip the head scarf off a Muslim classmate during recess has been arrested on hate crimes charges, according to police.
The boy was charged Wednesday with assault as a hate crime. The boy is a sixth grader at the Dreyfus Intermediate School in Stapleton, and is being charged as a juvenile.
A call to his lawyer wasn’t immediately returned. The boy’s father says his son is also a Muslim.
Carol D’Auria of 1010 WINS spoke to the victim, who did not want her name used. She said the first attack against her was in January and detailed the incident.
“When I came up to the school, they just pushed me in the snow and I was in the snow. And like they started to kick me and I said I’m a Muslim,” she said.
The third-degree assault charge is categorized as a class A misdemeanor, but the hate crime aspect bumps it up to a class E felony, according to police sources and as reported in the Staten Island Advance.
Police and school officials say the boy has a history of harassing the girl, taunting her and threatening her on at least four separate occasions.
The victim told D’Auria that in recent weeks she has felt “scared” after the same 12-year-old boy reminded her of the first incident, saying “remember I jumped you.”
The police report says he asked, “Are you Muslim?” while trying to remove her scarf. The girl suffered minor injuries.
The boy is facing disciplinary charges at school, and the case will be handled in Family Court.
School sources also said the boy went on a scissors rampage on Monday, running through a classroom and cutting a girl’s hair, according to The Advance.
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