Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Florida Man Indicted For Allegedly Attacking Muslim Store Clerk

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown

NEW YORK CITY, New York - Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on Monday that a Queens County grand jury has indicted a 55-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, man on hate crime charges for allegedly attacking a Muslim store clerk in Astoria, Queens, last month after uttering the words “I kill Muslims.”


“The defendant is accused of striking a Muslim man in an unprovoked attack early last month after proclaiming he ‘kills Muslims.’ The victim was allegedly punched in the face and lefty bloody and bruised. This kind of ignorance and intolerance is unacceptable,” said Brown.

The District Attorney identified the defendant as 55-year-old Piro Kolvani of Hartley Road in Jacksonville, Florida. Kolvani was arraigned on Monday before Acting Queens County Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron on a four-count indictment charging him with third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault, second-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree harassment.

Kolvani was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on February 11, 2016. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

District Attorney Brown said that according to the criminal charges, the victim, Mr. Sarker Haque, was working in his store on 21 Avenue in Astoria, when Kolvani entered and began acting strangely. Mr. Haque started to ask Kolvani a question when he suddenly blurted out “I kill Muslims” and began striking the victim in the face. Mr. Haque sustained a cut to his lip as well as bruising and swelling on the left side of his face.

Kolvani was indicted on the same day that another Florida man was arrested in Central Florida for allegedly vandalizing a mosque and leaving bacon at the building.

Photo Credit: Queen's District Attorney's Office Official Photo


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