New York

The Latest: Mom says suspect in hate crime is kind, caring

The Latest on a Massachusetts man who authorities say assaulted a Muslim airline employee at New York's Kennedy Airport (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

The mother of a Massachusetts man accused of assaulting a Muslim airline employee at New York's Kennedy Airport says the behavior described by authorities is uncharacteristic of her son.

Dorothy Rhodes says Robin Rhodes is "very kind" and goes out of his way to hire people of different races and ethnicities. Robin Rhodes is the president of Nitrofreeze Cryogenic Solutions, a metals company based in Worcester, Massachusetts.

New York City prosecutors say the 57-year-old Rhodes was waiting for a flight to Massachusetts Wednesday night when he approached a Delta employee wearing a hijab while she was sitting in her office.

Prosecutors say Rhodes punched a door, kicked the woman's leg, cursed Islam and, according to the woman, shouted: "Trump is here now. He will get rid of you."

Rhodes has been charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment, menacing and harassment as hate crimes. It's unclear if he has an attorney who can comment.

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12:25 a.m.

A Massachusetts man who authorities say assaulted a Muslim airline employee at New York's Kennedy Airport is facing hate crime charges.

The Queens District Attorney's Office says 57-year-old Robin Rhodes, of Worcester, was waiting for a flight to Massachusetts Wednesday night when he approached Delta employee Rabeeya Khan, who wears a hajib, while she was sitting in her office.

Prosecutors say Rhodes asked Khan if she was praying. He then punched the door and kicked her leg. Khan fled and prosecutors say Rhodes followed her, got to his knees as if he was praying, cursed Islam and shouted, "Trump is here now. He will get rid of you.

Rhodes has been charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment, menacing and harassment as hate crimes. It's unclear if he has an attorney who can comment.