Press Releases

CAIR-NY Condemns Racist Assault on Two Asian American Teenage Girls on Staten Island Bus, Welcomes Hate Crime Charges for Woman Who Pepper Sprayed Asian American Women in Chelsea

(NEW YORK, NY, 6/19/2022)—The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned an alleged assault on two Asian American teenage girls by two suspects who spewed anti-Asian insults, then reportedly slapped them and pulled their hair. 

The alleged assault against the teenage girls in Staten Island occurred on the morning of April 8 on the S61 bus line. The suspects eventually fled the bus near the Richmond Hill Road stop. The victims were taken to the hospital and found to be in stable condition.  

SEE: 2 sought for questioning in connection with alleged attack on bus in New Springville. Hate-crime unit investigating. 

CAIR-NY also welcomed the arrest of a Florida woman who allegedly shouted abusive, racist insults at four Asian American women before pepper-spraying them as they sat enjoying a Saturday evening in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. 

In the assault against the four Asian American women in Chelsea, Madeline Barker, 47, from Merritt Island, Florida, was arrested by the NYPD yesterday and is now facing attempted hate-crime assault, hate-crime assault, and hate-crime harassment charges. 

SEE:  Florida woman, 47, arrested for pepper spraying 4 women during anti-Asian hate-crime attack 

CAIR-NY Condemns Racist Pepper Spray Assault on Asian-American Women in Manhattan, Welcomes Hate Crime Probe 

Afaf Nasher, Executive Director of CAIR-NY, said in a statement:  

“CAIR-NY condemns the continued vicious, racist attacks targeting the Asian American community. We empathize with the teenage girls who perhaps will never forget the cruelty and enmity of the reported assault they experienced. And we are relieved that the assailant who allegedly pepper- sprayed the women in Chelsea has been caught and charged with a hate crime.

“To be victimized for no reason other than your ethnicity is especially traumatic. We commend the NYPD for their work in both of these apparent hate crimes and look forward to a prompt and just resolution for each.”  

She added that CAIR-NY and the American Muslim community stand in solidarity with all those challenging white supremacy, anti-Jewish hate, anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and all other forms of bigotry.  

Anyone with information about this incident should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (English) or 1-888-57-PISTA (Spanish). 

CAIR-NY has condemned several other disturbing hate incidents in recent weeks:     


CAIR-NY’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

La misión de CAIR-NY es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.  

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CONTACT: Afaf Nasher, Esq., CAIR-NY Executive Director,; Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Legal Director,