BETHEL PARK, Pa. – Federal prosecutors have added a hate crime charge against a Pennsylvania man already awaiting trial on state charges he used anti-Muslim slurs and physically attacked another man while drunk at a restaurant.
Fifty-four-year-old Jeffrey Burgess, of Bethel Heights, would face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of targeting someone with violence based on their ethnicity or perceived ethnicity.
He told WTAE-TV before his arraignment Thursday that "it was the alcohol" and said he feels remorse for what happened.
Authorities say Burgess was at a Red Robin restaurant in November when he began insulting a man sitting next to him. Authorities say Burgess repeatedly elbowed Ankur Mehta in the head. Mehta is not Muslim.
Burgess faces state charges including ethnic intimidation and simple assault.