According to District Attorney Melinda Katz, the incident took place on November 6 outside the family’s home and in front of their two children.
Two suspects, including 35-year-old Giselle DeJesus of Woodhaven Boulevard, allegedly approached the family in the parking lot of their apartment building. DeJesus grabbed the woman’s hijab while yelling “f***ing Muslim.”
DeJesus had previously harassed the Rego Park couple and their children in September, Katz said.
The father then placed his arm between his wife and DeJesus, and asked her to leave his family alone. A male suspect pushed his hands into the father’s face and chest, causing him to fall to the ground.
According to Katz, DeJesus then allegedly kicked him multiple times in the stomach, while the male suspect kicked him in the head and face. He also threatened to kill the entire family.
The Rego Park father was taken to a local hospital for fractures to his nose and face, and had to undergo survey.
“A family was terrorized because of their religious beliefs,” Katz said. “Such bigotry will be confronted and prosecuted in Queens County.”
On Friday, DeJesus was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary Bejarano, who charged the defendant with assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and disorderly conduct. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.
“Hate crimes are unacceptable,” Katz added.
Two days later, District Leader Ethan Fedler and Mazeda Uddin, co-founders of the Queens Solidarity Coalition, organized a rally outside Borough Hall. They were joined by Acting Borough President Sharon Lee and borough president-elect Donovan Richards.
“This heinous crime happens when people feel empowered by politicians in positions of power,” Felder said. “We will be here as long as it takes.”