A Florida man faces a hate crime charge after police say he ripped off a postal worker’s hijab and punched her in the face.
Fort Lauderdale police arrested Kenneth Jerome Pinkney, 47, on Oct. 24 after he allegedly attacked a U.S. Postal Service worker. In an arrest report obtained by Local 10 on Tuesday, police said the worker ― who has not been named ― was walking up to a home to deliver mail when Pinkney rode his bicycle past her and “made a shooting gesture.”
Pinkney allegedly called the worker derogatory names and told her to go back to her country, according to the report obtained by Local 10. He then walked up to the woman, ripped off her hijab, and started to slap and punch her in the face, police said.
The woman sustained injuries to her face, including scratches and a bloody mouth, according to the report. Pinkney was arrested later that day and has been charged with battery and committing a second-degree felony with prejudice.
There has been a disturbing rash of Islamophobic and antisemitic violence in the U.S. since the Israel-Hamas war began early last month.
On Oct. 13, a landlord allegedly stabbed a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy to death in Plainfield, Illinois. The suspect allegedly shouted “You Muslims must die!” just before the attack. The Justice Department has opened a hate crime investigation into the killing.
A 69-year-old Jewish man in California died on Monday after a confrontation between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators. No arrests have been made, but authorities said they have not ruled out the possibility that it was a hate crime.
CORRECTION: This story has been amended to correct the location of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume’s killing.