Posted on January 20, 2022

Suspect Arrested and Charged With Hate Crime in Alleged Attack on Sikh Taxi Driver

Laura Studley, CNN, January 17, 2022

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after an alleged attack on a taxi driver at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport earlier this month, a criminal complaint states.

The alleged victim is a member of the Sikh faith, according to the Sikh Coalition, a New York based advocacy group.

The driver was at a taxi stand outside Terminal 4 at the airport on January 3 when he was involved in a verbal dispute with 21-year-old Mohamed Hassanain who then assaulted him, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Hassanain allegedly hit the victim in the face and body multiple times, according to the complaint. Hassanain told investigators that he was at the airport to pick up his girlfriend. “I saw a cab driver there who cursed at me. I threw a punch and cursed at him,” said Hassanain, the complaint states.

During the incident, the driver says Hassanain told him: “you turban guy, go back to your country,” the complaint states.

The New York City Police Department arrested Hassanain on Thursday and he was arraigned in Queens County Criminal Court on Friday. He is charged with assault in the third degree as a hate crime, assault in the third degree, and harassment in the second degree, according to the complaint.