A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a brutal attack on a man outside of a Queens mosque earlier this month. On June 1st, Mohamed Rasheed was approached by three young men as he was leaving the Center for Islamic Studies on Jamaica Avenue. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR], Rasheed, 59, was knocked off his bicycle and punched repeatedly.
ABC reports that Rasheed suffered multiple broken bones and was unable to speak or open his eyes for some time. The 14-year-old now in custody was arrested Friday and charged with assault as a hate crime. According to a police spokesperson, the boy's identity will not be released due to his age. Two additional teenage suspects are still being sought by the NYPD.
In a statement offered by CAIR, Rasheed's attackers were described as laughing as they fled the scene. "Because of the location of the attack outside a mosque, the Islamic attire of the victim, and because nothing was stolen by the alleged attackers, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this troubling incident," CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said. "We urge the NYPD to step up patrols in the area of the mosque, particularly during activities associated with the upcoming fast of Ramadan."
"My uncle is an American citizen, and did not deserve this, and he is very humble and he doesn't bother anybody," Khan's niece told ABC following the attack. "He believes in Islamic ways—he was coming to pray, and Islam is all about love and caring for others. The criminals that did this, they don't identify with that."