NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A postal worker has been arrested in connection with an alleged hate crime in Brooklyn that was caught on surveillance video.
Dainton Coley, 33, faces charges of acting in a manner injurious to a child, harassment and menacing as a hate crime.
The incident happened last Friday outside a deli on Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Two Muslim women wearing traditional headscarves, one of them pushing a stroller with a baby, said they were accosted by a man on the sidewalk.
“He approached them and started harassing them, assaulting them, and even spat on them,” said Sadyia Khalique of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Khalique said he used some ugly language.
“For instance, there was conversation about, you know, ‘You’re a terrorist’ and also about how, ‘I’m going to blow up your temple,’” she said.
Khalique said the women were frightened and went into the deli where a manager intervened.
“The lady had a stroller, he come by,” said deli manager Jamel Abdulla. “I want to stop. I don’t (want) him touch the lady, the lady got a baby.’”
Abdulla said he recognized the man as a local postal worker who often stops in on his route to buy a can of beer.
“He make a lot of noise in the street all the time,” Abdulla said.
The U.S. Postal Police later contacted the Hate Crimes Task Force after recognizing the suspect as a USPS employee at the Atlantic Avenue Post Office.
There has been concern about anti-Muslim backlash after the Paris terror attacks, but the NYPD said the number of anti-Muslim incidents reported to the Hate Crimes Task Force is actually down 43 percent this year versus last.