Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Arrest of Maryland Man in Suspected Bias-Motivated Incident Targeting School Crossing Guard

Muslim civil rights organization also applauded a guilty verdict in case of Sikh man brutally assaulted two years ago in Washington, D.C. 

(BALTIMORE, MD, 8/31/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, welcomed news today that a Maryland man is in police custody after allegedly using racist, “anti-Hispanic language” and threatening a school crossing guard earlier this week.

SEE: Md. man arrested for threatening DC crossing guard, using anti-Hispanic language

Lionel Hyater has been charged with felony threats and stalking after an alarmed parent and a school nurse both called 911 to report his use of racist slurs and threats to “cause serious harm” to a crossing guard stationed near Lafayette Elementary School in Maryland’s Chevy Chase neighborhood. 

Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate or bias motivated crime.

CAIR also applauded news that a jury yesterday found a Texas man guilty of aggravated assault with hate-crime enhancement in the brutal beating of an Indian Sikh man two years ago in Northwest Washington, D.C. 

SEE: Jury Finds Texas Man Dylan Millhausen Guilty of Aggravated Assault with Hate/Bias Crime

On the morning of August 21, 2016, the victim – a 27-year-old Sikh man who wears a turban – was in the Dupont Circle area when a stranger, Dylan Millhausen, pulled off his turban and pummeled him in the face until he was rendered unconscious – causing him to sustain serious injuries that required hospitalization. 

When the suspect was apprehended and questioned by officers at the scene, he likening the Sikh victim to “Islamic extremists to whom terrorist attacks and plots in Europe had been attributed.”

“These developments are a critical reminder to those bigoted individuals who would attack or harm others that our society operates based on a system of laws,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “If they choose to act on their prejudiced inclinations by targeting others, they will be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”CAIR has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

Earlier this month, CAIR released an update on anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in the second quarter (April-June) of 2018 indicating that anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes are up 83 and 21 percent respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2018.

SEE: CAIR Report: Anti-Muslim Bias Incidents, Hate Crimes Spike in Second Quarter of 2018

Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:   

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR 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: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry,, 410-971-6062

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