A New York-based woman is charged with hate crimes and assault after she allegedly threw her phone and hurled hot coffee onto a man and his 18-months-old son, according to the New York City Police Department.
A police spokesperson confirmed to a media outlet that 48-year-old Hadasa Bozakkaravani was arrested, and it’s also been reported that she surrendered to police.
The incident occurred at Edmonds Playground in Brooklyn, while 40-year-old Ashish Prashar was wearing a black and white keffiyeh, a traditional Arabic scarf, on 7 November. The keffiyeh in question was a gift given to Prashar.
“It was a gift given to me by a Christian-Palestinian,” he told NBC New York.
Prashar is not Palestinian — he is of an Indian-origin.
Prashar told CNN the incident started after his young son approached another boy on the basketball court at the playground, which angered the other boy’s mother and she started yelling.
Prashar recorded the conversation and shared the video online that went viral.
“As I turned back, she threw hot coffee in my face, which, if I didn’t put my son down, would have burned my son’s face,” he said to NBC New York.
Prashar but has been outspoken in his support of Palestinian rights and a permanent ceasefire in Gaza on social media.
Bozakkaravani has been charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, among others, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Oren Yaniv, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn DA, said Bozakkaravani was arraigned Tuesday night and released without bail with no conditions.
She pleaded not guilty to charges against her. Bozakkaravani told NewsNation local affiliate PIX11 that the incident happened after she became enraged over a conversation over the Israel-Hamas war and that she “regrets” what she did.
She is due back in court on 24 January 2024.
Prashar credited the community for her surrendering to the police.