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Two Men Charged in Alleged Hate Crime

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two men are facing charges of robbery and assault as hate crimes for allegedly attacking a Muslim man on a subway platform near Canal Street Wednesday morning.

According to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney's office, Albert Melendez, 30, made anti-Muslim remarks and tried to kick the victim, who is not named. Police say a second suspect, Eddie Crespo, 28, helped Melendez grab the victim after he exited the train. Melendez then allegedly took the victim's kufi, a cap worn by Muslim men, and threw it onto the tracks before hitting him. The victim was left with bruises and swelling on his left eye, according to the complaint.

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations identified the victim as a Queens-based imam.

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