Police are looking for a man who threw eggs and an anti-Muslim note at an Astoria food truck owner on Monday.
According to police, on Aug. 7 at around midnight, an individual came up to a food cart owner selling halal food at Steinway Street and 25th Avenue and threw eggs at him. The Daily News reported that the owner, Arid el-Baghdadi, called the police but did not file a report because he was not hurt.
But the suspect came back and this time had affixed a note to the eggs that read “F–k Arab. F–k Muslim.”
The police were called a second time and according to an NYPD spokesperson, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is now pouring through surveillance videos to try to find the attacker.
“This vicious attack is hateful and derogatory,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides. “Astorians deserve a safe community without fear of assault or harassment because of their religion. As hate crimes have risen this past year, we reaffirm our core American beliefs in justice and unity, and stand against hatred and bigotry. We thank the 114th Precinct and NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for investigating this heinous crime.”
Incidents like this have occurred previously in Astoria. In December 2015, Sarker Haque, the owner of Fatima Food Mart in Astoria was beaten in his store by a man who shouted “I kill Muslims” during the attack.
In November 2016, An Arab-American Uber driver was a victim of a racist tirade by another driver. A man in a white SUV yelled at the Uber driver, stating that now that Trump is president, the Uber driver can “kiss his visa goodbye” because he will be deported soon, as well as over obscene remarks regarding the Uber driver’s heritage. The driver recorded the scene with his phone.
“Video all you want, you’re an Arab, you’re a f—ing loser,” he said. “Exactly, video me, what is that going to do?”
That same month, four Muslim teens were attacked by three men outside of an Astoria bar. One of the men said he didn’t “want any Muslim sitting on the bench” and one of the teenagers was struck in the face with a bottle.
Several elected officials took to Twitter to denounce the incident.
“This is a despicable & deplorable alleged hate crime,” Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas wrote. “My heart goes out to the victim & to any of my immigrant neighbors who now feel afraid.”
This is a despicable & deplorable alleged hate crime. My heart goes out to the victim & to any of my immigrant neighbors who now feel afraid https://t.co/2aqrmOwirB
— Aravella Simotas (@AravellaSimotas) August 8, 2017