An Asian NYPD officer charged with a hate crime for allegedly hurling "anti-Muslim" slurs at an alleged drunk driver before beating the Middle Eastern man in an off-duty Brooklyn road-rage incident earlier this year has since been fired from the force, Fox News Digital has confirmed.
Riggs Kwong, an 18-year veteran of the New York Police Department, was dismissed effective Sept. 6, and NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Fox News Digital. N.Y. Daily News first reported about his termination on Tuesday, saying it came in connection to the January alleged road rage assault.
The termination went into effect about eight months after 50-year-old Kwong was arraigned on third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime, third-degree assault, third-degree menacing, second-degree aggravated harassment, falsely reporting an incident and improper use of colored or flashing lights.
The charges come in connection to the alleged Jan. 16 caught on video beating of 32-year-old Abdul Motalab during a traffic altercation in Kensington, Brooklyn.
In announcing the indictment, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office said at approximately 11:45 a.m., Kwong allegedly blocked Motalab, who was driving a Toyota Rav 4, from driving down Church Avenue toward Ocean Parkway near the intersection of McDonald Avenue and Church Avenue. Motalab then allegedly followed the defendant’s vehicle, a Honda Accord, to the intersection of Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway.
The defendant was making a turn onto the service road at Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway when the victim allegedly drove in front of the defendant’s vehicle, cutting him off, according to prosecutors.
Gonzalez’s office said that Kwong then videotaped himself, stating to the victim, "I’m trying to make a left here on the service road and this terrorist is terrorizing me, you’re upset because I didn’t let you make a U-turn, Mr. Mohammed…Al Qaeda, Terrorist, ISIS…"
The victim then exited his vehicle to take a photo of the defendant’s license plate and then got back in his vehicle while the defendant allegedly continued to use racial slurs. Motalab then got out of his vehicle and slapped the hood of Kwong’s vehicle, and Kwong got out of his vehicle.
The defendant allegedly spits in the victim’s face and the victim spat back at the defendant. Kwong then allegedly punched the victim several times, causing him to fall to the ground, and continued to punch him and use anti-Muslim language, prosecutors said. The victim stood up, and the defendant allegedly punched him again, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.
Kwong called 911 and stated that he was an off-duty police officer and allegedly falsely stated that the victim threw the first punch and that he then punched the victim back, prosecutors said. He allegedly made the same claim to NYPD officers who responded to the scene. Video surveillance allegedly shows the defendant punching the victim without the victim ever punching the defendant.
N.Y. Daily News reported that Motalab was charged with drunk driving after allegedly admitting to having three beers before getting behind the wheel and getting into the altercation with Kwong. The outcome of that case was unclear, and the hate crime case against Kwong is still pending. Kwong had been suspended from the NYPD following the incident and his arrest. He was released without bail in January.