Massachusetts police officials reported that they’ve recently detained a 57-year-old businessman on the J.F. Kennedy airport. According to court documents, the male suspect identified as being Robin A. Rhodes has allegedly insulted and assaulted a Muslim airport employee. The man was charged with committing a hate crime and, if he’s found guilty, he will spend at least four years in prison, according to Queens’ District Attorney.
A Massachusetts businessman stands on trial after allegedly harassing a Muslim airport employee. According to the authorities, the events began to unfold a couple of days ago, when Robin A. Rhodes returned from his business trip to Aruba.
After arriving at the J.F.K airport, Rhodes went to the Delta Sky Lounge, where he waited for his connecting flight to his home city. However, as he was waiting in the lounge, Rhodes caught a glimpse of a woman airport worker who was wearing a hijab.
Without any word of warning, the Massachusetts businessman started to insult the woman. Naturally, we won’t reproduce the exact words uttered by Mr. Rhodes but sufficed to say that his insults were directed towards the woman’s hijab.
Richard A. Brown, the Queens District Attorney, declared that the woman ignored Rhode’s malicious comments. However, Brown stated that after Rhodes has seen that the woman wasn’t responding to his taunts, he became more insistent and violent.
While the woman sought refuge in nearby office to escape from Rhodes, the suspect rose from his chair, followed her to the office and punched the door. The door slammed open, hitting the back side of the woman’s chair.
The woman wearing a hijab, identified as Mr. Khan, became defensive and kept asking the Massachusetts businessman about what she did in order to deserve this kind of treatment. Rhodes continued with his barrage of insults, saying that she did not do anything wrong, but he will still beat her.
After the man had finished his hate speech, he kicked the woman’s right leg. Fearing for her life, Ms. Khan sought refuge in one of the office’s corners. Enraged, the suspected kicked the door, and positioned himself in front of it, to prevent the woman from escaping.
Minutes later, an airport worker who heard the woman shout for help stepped into the office and confronted the Massachusetts businessman. According to the authorities, when the individual stepped in to help Mr. Khan, Rhodes got down on his knees and began mumbling a Muslim prayer.
The Massachusetts businessman was later taken into custody and charged with committing a hate crime. If the jury finds him guilty, Robin A. Rhodes will spend the next four years behind bars.
Image source: Wikipedia