By Patrick Donachie
A group of three teenagers assaulted a Muslim man outside of his Queens Village mosque earlier this month as a part of a “knockout game,” according to a 14-year-old who was arrested and charged with the attack, police said.
The suspect, whose name was not being released due to his age, was charged with assault and a hate crime, according to the NYPD. The Queens district attorney’s office said the teenage suspect would be processed through Family Court. Police were looking for the two other suspects.
At about 10:30 p.m. June 1, Mohamed Rasheed Khan, 59, left the Center for Islamic Studies at 206-09 Jamaica Ave. and started riding his bicycle, police said. The arrested teenager said that one of his friends suggested they play a version of the knockout game, which is an attempt to knock an individual unconscious with a single punch, police said. The three assailants subsequently approached Khan and began punching him on his face and head, knocking him off his bike in the process, according to the NYPD.
The assailants fled the scene eastbound on Jamaica Avenue towards Francis Lewis Boulevard, according to the police. A statement from the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released after the attack said the assailants had not stolen Khan’s wallet, watch or bike and noted that the three attackers were laughing as they fled.
After the attack, Khan was taken to Jamaica Hospital with lacerations, bruising and swelling to his face. He suffered from broken ribs and was initially unable to speak to authorities due to the extent of his injuries. Khan had surgery and was unable to open his eyes but was beginning to recover, according to a Facebook post on CAIR-NY’s page June 9.
The council called on the NYPD to investigate the assault for a bias motivation. Police subsequently said they were investigating the attack on Khan as a hate crime and were looking for a possible bias motivation.
Police released video showing two of the alleged assailants in the immediate aftermath of the attack outside of 105-13 Jamaica Ave. The three suspects, including the arrested individuals were described as black males in their teens, according to police. The NYPD is encouraging anyone with additional information to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1 (800)-577-TIPS.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona