An 18-year-old Muslim woman has been charged with making up allegations that three men attacked her on the 6 train earlier this month. Yasmin Seweid told police that the men attempted to remove her hijab, called her a terrorist, and repeatedly shouted "Donald Trump!" at her.
Seweid initially told police that she had been approached by racist thugs around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1st, while waiting for an uptown-bound 6th train at 23rd Street. She said that three men followed her onto the train, where they began to scream xenophobic insults at her and eventually grabbed her purse and tried to pull off her hijab. Seweid reported the alleged incident to police when she exited the train at Grand Central.
"I was harassed on the subway last night and it was just so dehumanizing I can't speak about it without getting emotional," Seweid wrote on Facebook following her initial report to police. "It breaks my heart that so many individuals chose to be bystanders while watching me get harassed verbally and physically by these disgusting pigs."
"Trump['s] America is real and I witnessed it firsthand last night!" Seweid added. "Please stay safe everyone & never let anyone take your rights away."
No arrests were made and investigators reportedly had difficulty finding witnesses or suspects. Then Seweid, who lives in Hyde Park, was reported missing for two days last week, prompting an investigation from the Nassau County PD.
An NYPD source told the Daily News that her disappearance heightened investigators' mounting suspicions about the allegations. "We dedicated a lot of resources to this — and don’t get me wrong, this is what we do — but we had guys going back and forth, looking for video and witnesses. And we couldn’t find anything,” the source said.
Seweid was arrested around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon at 19 Pitt Street on the Lower East Side, according to a spokesman for the NYPD. She has since been charged with obstructing governmental administration and falsely reporting an incident—both misdemeanors.
The news of Seweid's arrest comes amid a marked uptick in reported hate crimes, both in New York City and nationally, in the wake of the November 8th presidential election. Throughout his campaign, President-elect Trump stoked Islamophobia and called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.
An NYPD source told DNAInfo that Seweid allegedly made up the story to "get attention" in the midst of ongoing family issues.
"You try to raise your children as best you can," her father, Sayeed Seweid, told the outlet, adding, "Maybe she was afraid that night. She was running late."