Sunnyside man arrested in hate crime assault

By James DeWeese

James Linekin, of 45th Street in Sunnyside, allegedly attacked the Arab man as he walked near the corner of 46th Street and Queens Boulevard around 5:30 a.m. on June 27. Linekin shouted at the man before punching him in the face, twisting his arm and then pushing him, according to the criminal complaint filed against him in Queens County Criminal Court.”You guys, Muslim,” Linekin allegedly told the man, according to the complaint. “We don't care, either good or bad Muslim, you are terrorists. Get out of my country.”Linekin allegedly bloodied the man's nose and caused him a lot of pain, police said. After the assault, the man's attacker fled on foot down 46th Street, police said. The victim refused medical assistance at the scene, police said. And the case was turned over to the Police Department's bias squad.Law enforcement sources would say only that police singled out Linekin as the result of a continuing investigation. They did not specify how or where Linekin was arrested.Linekin was arraigned before Queens County Criminal Judge Lenora Gerald Monday on charges of third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault and second-degree harassment, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.Hate crimes charges, which are typically leveled in cases where victims are assaulted because of their race, ethnic background, sexual orientation or religion, carry stiffer penalties. If convicted, Linekin could face up to four years in prison.Gerald ordered Linekin released on his own recognizance. He was slated to return to court on Feb. 14.”Suffice it to say the event happened in June and he was arrested very recently,” Linekin's attorney, Mihea Kim of Legal Aid, said. “You know he was coopertive when he was arrested and he has his own defense.”She declined to comment further.Reach reporter James DeWeese by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

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