Two men were charged Thursday with hate crimes for allegedly assaulting a Muslim man in the Canal Street subway station early Wednesday, the Manhattan’s District Attorney’s office said.
Albert Melendez, 30, of Manhattan, and Eddie Crespo, 28, of Staten Island, were both charged with three-degree assault and two counts of second-degree robbery, all as hate crimes.
According to the criminal complaint, Melendez made an ethnically derogatory remark before telling his victim: "I don’t like Muslims.” The 49-year-old victim was then allegedly assaulted exiting the train, with Melendez also grabbing the kufi off his head and throwing it on the tracks.
Arnold Keith, Crespo’s attorney, on Thursday defended his client, calling him “a decent guy."
Melendez’s attorney didn’t return a call for comment.