A 54-year old man has been charged with hate crime for assaulting an Indian-origin woman travelling in a subway and using homophobic slurs against her.
Allasheed Allah, 54, was arraigned on Thursday and charged with assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment against Avneet Kaur, 20, for the attack in New York City's Queens borough in November.
If convicted, Allasheed faces three and one-half to 15 years in prison, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
"Queens County is the most diverse county in the nation. It is home to many races, nationalities and sexual orientations. Crimes motivated by bias - particularly those involving violence - will never be tolerated in this county. When they do regrettably occur, they will be vigorously prosecuted and those involved will be severely punished," Brown said.
According to the charges, Kaur was travelling in a subway train in Manhattan last month when Allasheed engaged her in a verbal dispute.
During the dispute, he began making homophobic slurs towards Kaur and her friend.
As the two women began to walk away, the defendant followed them and struck Kaur in the back of her head and then once in her chest causing her to fall and strike her head and neck on a pole before hitting the floor.
According to the charges, the defendant admitted that he used homophobic language against Kaur and threatened her if she kissed her friend, travelling with her on the subway, again.
Kaur was immediately transported to a local Queens hospital where she underwent treatment for a fractured spine.