Man faces hate crime charges after assaulting Muslim Delta Airlines employee

The 57-year-old yelled threatening slurs and kicked Muslim Delta employee in the leg

News Desk March 17, 2017

A Delta Airlines traveller is accused of racist remarks against against a Delta employee who happened to be a Muslim.

The 57-year-old identified as Robin Rhodes was returning in January from a trip to Aruba. He yelled threatening slurs and kicked the Delta employee in the leg.

He was indicted on Thursday on charges of unlawful imprisonment and aggravated harassment. He also faces hate crime charges.

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According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Rhodes was at John F Kennedy airport waiting for a connecting flight. He entered the Delta Sky Lounge and came up to the unidentified employee's office. He then said, "Are you [expletive deleted] sleeping? Are you praying? What are you doing?"

According to the complaint launched, Rhodes then proceeded to hit a door that slammed into the back of the employee's chair. When she asked him what she had done, he allegedly replied, "You did nothing but I am going to kick your [expletive deleted] ass."

He then proceeded to kick her in the leg. When she tried to get away, he kicked the door and stepped into her office so as to block her from escaping.

When another person intervened and the employee was able to get away, Rhodes followed her and according to the complaint got down on his knees, imitating Muslim praying.

He shouted, "[Expletive] Islam, [expletive] 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."

Rhode's attorney, Paul Goldberger has not commented. His office said they do no comment on pending litigation.

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The criminal charges state the victim suffered pain in her right leg and was fearful of further physical injury.

Following the attack, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the Transportation Worker Protection Act. This act would make any assault against an airport worker a felony, punishable by a maximum of seven years in prison.

Rhodes was released on $50,000 bond and is ordered to return to court in June.

He faces up to four years in prison.

This story originally appeared on CNN


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