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CAIR calls for hate crime charges over alleged assault on Connecticut state rep. after attending Muslim prayers
Image Source: WFSB-TV YouTube video screenshot composite

CAIR calls for hate crime charges over alleged assault on Connecticut state rep. after attending Muslim prayers

A witness to an alleged attack on a Muslim state representative chased down the suspect and held him down until police arrived on Wednesday.

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement detailing the alleged attack on Rep. Maryam Khan and her family at the XL Center in downtown Hartford.

The family was participating in prayers for Eid-al-Adha when a strange man approached the group and made "vulgar and obscene" remarks, according to CAIR. Khan was with her sister, her female friend, and her two children, a 12-year-old son, and a 10-year-old daughter.

The man then put his arm around Khan and tried to kiss her, but when she resisted, he hit her and threw her to the ground.

Another worshipper chased the man and held him down until police arrived, CAIR said.

The Hartford Police Department said the suspect was identified as 30-year-old Andrey Desmond of New Britain. Desmond was charged with unlawful restraint 2nd degree, assault 3rd degree, breach of peace 2nd degree, and interfering with police.

Police said they may add other charges after they complete their investigation.

CAIR-Connecticut Chair Farhan Memon called on officials to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

“We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this attack and to ensure the safety of the Connecticut Muslim community during the ongoing Eid al-Adha celebrations,” said Memon.

“All too often we have seen American Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim, targeted by hate because of their attire, race or ethnicity," he added.

Memon also criticized the police department for not dedicating enough law enforcement resources to the religious event.

Police said it was unclear if Desmond knew at the time of the alleged attack that Khan was a politician.

Khan was shaken up by the incident but suffered only scratches and bruises. A Democrat, she became the first Muslim elected to the Connecticut legislature in March 2022.

Here's a local news report about the incident:

State representative attacked while attending prayer service at XL Centerwww.youtube.com

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