NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has launched a new hate crime investigation after a Muslim woman says she was attacked on a Brooklyn street.
“When it happens to you, it’s really very scary,” Umbrer Nisar told CBS2’s Jessica Layton on Monday night.
Living in Midwood for more than 20 years, Nisar has always felt free and safe to walk around her community wearing her traditional Muslim attire. But Saturday, she believes her hijab made her a target.
“I was 100 percent sure that it is a hate crime,” Nisar said.
The 41-year-old had just brought food to her mother and was in front of her home on Avenue H in the middle of the day when she said a man crossed the street and charged at her.
“First he tried to trip me, but when I didn’t fall down then he kicked me full force in my right leg, and then he just walked away like nothing happened,” Nisar said.
She said her surveillance camera caught some fuzzy footage of her assailant walking in the distance.
Sitting side by side with the mother of three on Monday night, community activists and City Councilman Chaim Deutsch called attention to the violent rise of intolerance.
“Last year, in 2018, hate crimes overall were up 6 percent. No one should be afraid to walk on our streets,” Deutsch said.
Nisar said she was afraid to come forward at first, but she’s trying to be brave for the women she loves who dress like her, like her daughter.
“It does make me nervous and it does break my heart,” Janita Ashraf said. “It also hurt me … there was a witness and they didn’t say anything. Nobody tried to help her.”
Police are confident they will catch the suspect but are asking anyone with information to come forward,