Suffolk police arrested a Hauppauge man Tuesday and charged him...

Suffolk police arrested a Hauppauge man Tuesday and charged him with a hate crime for making anti-Arab comments toward two men in a Lake Grove shopping mall parking lot, authorities said. Credit: James Carbone

A Hauppauge man faces a hate crime charge after his arrest for making anti-Arab comments toward two men in a Lake Grove mall parking lot and attempting to run over one of them, Suffolk police said.

Hate crime unit detectives took Peter Domenichello, 55, into custody at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday outside his home on Canterbury Street after an investigation, according to police.

On May 4, Domenichello was walking in the parking lot of the Smith Haven Plaza in Lake Grove just before 7 p.m., police said in a news release, when “he directed anti-Arab comments at two men." 

“Domenichello then drove his 2017 Honda Civic at one of the men, causing the victim to evade the vehicle,” police said. “When the victim got into his vehicle, Domenichello drove directly at the victim’s vehicle but did not strike it.”

Afaf Nasher, executive director of the Manhattan-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement that he and the organization “welcome the hate crime charges for the suspected perpetrator of this disturbing, apparently bias-motivated crime."

“Communities in New York and nationwide must come together to condemn anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia and all other forms of bigotry,” Nasher said.

Domenichello faces a charge of second-degree reckless endangerment as a hate crime and will be arraigned at a later date at First District Court in Central Islip, according to police.

Domenichello was not immediately available for comment and it remained unclear Wednesday whether he had hired and attorney. 

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