Texas Woman Allegedly Tried to Drown 3-Year-Old Muslim Girl, Police Recommend Hate Crime Charges

Elizabeth Wolf is charged with attempted capital murder

<p>Euless Police Department</p> Elizabeth Wolf

Euless Police Department

Elizabeth Wolf

A Texas woman is charged with attempted murder after police allege she attempted to drown a 3-year-old Muslim girl in a swimming pool while making racist statements. Police have recommended that the incident be considered a hate crime by prosecutors.

The incident occurred on May 19 at an apartment complex in Euless, Texas. Police responded to the complex after a report of a disturbance between two women. Witnesses told police that a woman who appeared to be intoxicated woman had tried to drown a young child, the department said in a release. The suspect, Elizabeth Wolf, 42, was arrested by police at the scene.

The mother of the child told police that Wolf had asked her where she was from and questioned her about her two children, who were playing at the pool, according to the release. The mother then said Wolf grabbed at her 6-year-old son, though he was able to pull away, police alleged.

As the unidentified mother attempted to help her son, Wolf allegedly grabbed the mother’s 3-year-old daughter and forced her underwater, police said.

“The mother of the two children stated that Wolf made statements about her not being an American and other racial statements,” police said in the release.

Wolf was charged with attempted capital murder and injury to a child. A spokesperson for the Euless Police Department tells PEOPLE that the charges have been accepted by the Tarrant County District Attorney, and that the department recommended that the charges be considered a hate crime due to the alleged use of racist language.

It is not immediately clear if Wolf has retained an attorney or entered a plea. She has since bonded out of jail and is not currently in police custody.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Texas said in a press release that the mother, identified in the release only as Mrs. H, was wearing a hijab at the time of the incident.

“We are American citizens, originally from Palestine, and I don’t know where to go to feel safe with my kids,” the mother said in a statement published by CAIR. “My country is facing a war, and we are facing that hate here.

“My daughter is traumatized; whenever I open the apartment door, she runs away and hides, telling me she is afraid the lady will come and immerse her head in the water again,” the statement continued. “Also, my husband’s employment is jeopardized, due to having to leave work to accompany me and our four kids whenever we have appointments and errands to run.”

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A GoFundMe started to benefit the family raised over $16,000.

Shaimaa Zayan, operations manager for CAIR-Austin, called on authorities to investigate the May 19 incident as a hate crime.

“I was devastated to know that the attacker got a bail bond out of jail the next day after the arrest,” Zayan said. “We ask for hate crime probe, a higher bail bond, and an open conversation with officials to address this alarming increase in Islamophobia, anti-Arab, and anti-Palestinian sentiment.”

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