COLUMBUS, Ohio — The FBI has opened a preliminary civil rights investigation in the case of a 20-year-old woman who says she was the victim of a hate crime.
It all stems from an alleged incident that happened on the city’s west side and was caught on camera.
The woman, who did not want to give her identity to NBC4, said the incident has left her terrified.
“I was attacked by a man I didn’t know and he just wanted to hurt me,” she said.
The alleged incident took place behind the Abubakar Siddique Islamic Center on Sullivant Avenue. Surveillance video shows the woman, who is a Somali immigrant, driving into the parking lot and parking her car. Then a second SUV drives up and parks directly behind her. Video shows a man getting out of the second SUV and walking up to the woman’s car. That’s where this story takes a violent turn.
“He threatened me,” she said. “He said he will kill me and he said ‘All you Muslims, go back to wherever you’re from. Don’t think you can rule this country. You can’t.’ He said, ‘This is my country.'”
She said the man then sprayed her in the face with pepper spray. …
“The reason we have surveillance cameras in the past couple years, the same incident has taken place, not a similar incident, where you basically have people attacking the mosque, breaking glass outside the mosque, writing ‘kill all Arabs’ across the mosque,” said Romin Iqbal with the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Tuesday afternoon, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate. The FBI said they have spoken with the victim. (More)