Trump fan charged over hate attack on Muslim airline worker
Robin Rhodes allegedly told hijab wearing woman that president will ‘get rid of you all’
Supporters of Muslim Americans host a rally against President Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ policies in Washington, DC, on Thursday. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA.
Queens District Attorney’s Office said Robin Rhodes (57), of Worchester, Massachusetts, had arrived from Aruba and was waiting for a connecting flight to his home state on Wednesday night, when he approached Delta employee Rabeeya Khan, who wears a hijab, while she was in her office.
District attorney Richard Brown said Rhodes came up to the door and launched a profanity-laced tirade, asking the woman if she was praying, before punching the door, which hit the back of Ms Khan’s chair.
Ms Khan asked Rhodes what she had done to him and he replied: “You did nothing.”
He then swore at her and kicked her in the leg, Mr Brown said.
When another person tried to calm him down, Mr Brown said Rhodes moved away from the door and Ms Khan fled the office.
But Rhodes followed her, got down on his knees and began to bow down, imitating a Muslim praying, shouted obscenities and said, “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you. You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You see what happens,” Mr Brown said.
At the time of his arrest, Rhodes allegedly told police: “I guess I am going to jail for disorderly conduct.
“I couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman because their back was to me and they had something covering their head.”
Rhodes was charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment, menacing and harassment as hate crimes.
“The bigotry and hatred that the defendant is accused of manifesting and acting upon have no place in a civilised society — especially in Queens County, the most culturally diverse county in the nation,” Mr Brown said.
“Crimes of hate will never be tolerated here and when they do regrettably occur, those responsible will be brought to justice.”