Man Charged With Hate Crimes After Attacking JFK Airport Worker in Hijab

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Kennedy airport. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Per a statement by Queens district attorney Richard A. Brown, a Kennedy International airport worker wearing a hijab was attacked by a man on Wednesday night who has since been charged with hate crimes.

Robin A. Rhodes, 57, of Worcester, Massachusetts, landed in JFK from Aruba and was set to take a connecting flight to his home state. Upon seeing Rabeeya Khan, a Delta employee sitting in her office at the Delta Sky Lounge, he came to her door and reportedly stated, “Are you [expletive deleted] sleeping? Are you praying? What are you doing?”

From there, he became more aggressive:

Rhodes then allegedly punched the door, which hit the back of Ms. Khan’s chair. It is alleged that when Ms. Khan asked Rhodes what she did to him, he stated, “You did nothing but I am going to kick your [expletive deleted] ass. Rhodes then allegedly kicked Ms. Khan in the right leg. In an effort to get away, Ms. Khan moved in a corner of the office.

After Khan managed to run out of the office and to the front desk, Rhodes reportedly did not stop, choosing to chase after her, shouting about Islam and invoking President Donald Trump:

It is alleged, however, that Rhodes followed her and got down on his knees and began to bow down in imitation of a Muslim praying and shouted, “[Expletive deleted] Islam, [Expletive deleted] ISIS, Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you. You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You will see what happens.

When he was arrested, Rhodes allegedly told police, “I guess I am going to jail for disorderly conduct. I couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman because their back was to me and they had something covering their head.” He was charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment, menacing, and harassment — all as hate crimes.

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Man Arrested for Attacking JFK Airport Worker in Hijab