STATEN ISLAND, NY – National Muslim rights group calls on NYPD to open hate crime investigation after man was arrested for allegedly beating 18-year-old Egyptian-American with a bat in New Dorp .
Emilio Lopez, 41, attacked Tarek Elsayed with a baseball bat on Dartmouth Loop, where the two men live, around 9:50 p.m. on August 13, causing “lacerations and bleeding in the head.” [and] significant pain and swelling of the head and right hand ”, alleges the criminal complaint.
Lopez was arrested and brought to justice for a felony; a law enforcement source said detectives initially believed the alleged beating stemmed from a parking dispute.
However, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement Wednesday calling on authorities to “launch an investigation into hate crimes.”
The statement by CAIR, which represents the teenager, maintains that the attack was “anti-immigrant, anti-Arab and racist.”
The CAIR statement alleges that Lopez used anti-Arab slurs during the meeting with Elsayed.
“This brazen attack on a teenager is disturbing and has no place in our city. No one should be attacked or live in fear because of their race or ethnicity, ”said CAIR Legal Director Ahmed Mohamed. “The perpetrator has made his motives clear and the NYPD must open a hate crime investigation.”
The group is the largest civil rights and Muslim advocacy organization in the country.
Elsayed was leaving Dartmouth Loop in his car when the defendant approached him and punctured his rear passenger tire, according to CAIR.
When Elsayed got out of his car to check the tire, Lopez allegedly hit him, according to CAIR.
The 18-year-old “became disoriented and fell to the ground,” but was able to escape.
Mohamed maintains that “there was nothing that led” to the incident.
Elsayed was taken to Staten Island Teaching Hospital in Ocean Breeze in stable condition.
He suffered a broken forearm and a head injury, according to CAIR.
The NYPD arrested Lopez shortly after responding to the scene.
He was charged with second and third degree assault, criminal possession of a fourth degree weapon and harassment.
Lopez was arraigned on August 14, released on his own recognizance and issued a protection order, according to public records.
He is due to return to court on November 16.
His lawyer, Lazzaro Lance, said his client would be “exonerated and these charges would be dismissed”.
He denied allegations that Lopez used racial slurs during the alleged incident.
“My client didn’t say anything to that effect,” Lance said.
Meanwhile, the district attorney said his investigation was ongoing.
“The case is still under investigation and we will review and consider all facts and evidence relevant to this incident,” said a spokesperson for District Attorney Michael E. McMahon.