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Long IslandCrime

DA: Hate crime charges in attack on Delta worker at JFK airport

A man at Kennedy Airport attacked a Muslim

A man at Kennedy Airport attacked a Muslim employee on Jan. 25, 2017, the Queens district attorney's office said. Above, people wait in a security line at Kennedy Airport on March 24, 2016. Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

A Massachusetts man who kicked a Delta employee at Kennedy Airport in January, shouting anti-Muslim epithets and saying, “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you,” has been indicted on hate crime charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

The attack occurred at 7:10 p.m. on Jan. 25 in the Delta Sky Lounge in Terminal 2, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement.

The employee, whose identity was not released, suffered “substantial pain and redness in her right leg,” prosecutors said. The victim was said to be “in fear of physical, annoyance and alarm” following the attack in her office.

The suspect, Robin A. Rhodes, 57, of Worcester, was arraigned Thursday before acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron on a four-count indictment charging him with third-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime, and second-degree aggravated harassment. He faces up to 4 years in prison if convicted and was released on $50,000 bond or $30,000 cash bail.

Brown said Rhodes arrived at Kennedy on a flight from Aruba and was waiting for a connecting flight to Massachusetts when the incident occurred.

According to authorities, Rhodes approached the victim’s office and said: “Are you sleeping? Are you praying? What are you doing?” He then punched the door, authorities said, sending it crashing into the victim’s chair.

The startled woman asked Rhodes what she had done, authorities said. Rhodes replied, “You did nothing,” and he threatened to assault her. Rhodes then allegedly kicked the woman in the right leg, authorities said.

The victim tried to flee, but authorities said Rhodes blocked her exit. After an unidentified individual came to calm Rhodes down, allowing the victim to leave, Rhodes got down on his knees, mocking Muslim prayer.

Referencing President Donald Trump, Rhodes allegedly said: “He will get rid of all of you. You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You will see what happens.”


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