A security camera has led to an arrest in the service-station shooting of a Muslim from Uzbekistan, police said Monday.
William J. Neal, 18, of Cleveland, was charged with felonious assault in the June 20 attack on immigrant Fazliddin Yakubov, 49. The attack was investigated as a possible hate crime, but police don’t have enough evidence to file such a charge, Lt. Thomas Stacho said.
The victim may have been mistaken as Arab because he spoke Uzbek and recited a Muslim prayer in Arabic when he became frightened by people milling around the gas station, according to the Cleveland Chapter Council on American Islamic Relations.
Officers who work security in city schools helped identify some of those on the security tape, Stacho said.
The video shows Yakubov casually standing or walking by his car and gesturing with his arms while trying to get the attention of his son at the cashier counter. He felt people at the gas station were mocking him, according to his son, and several males were mimicking Arabic speech. (MORE)