57-year-old Robin Rhodes of Worcester, Massachusetts has been taken into custody by law enforcement officers on Thursday, January 26th, after he assaulted a Muslim Delta employee both physically, as well as verbally.
The man allegedly hit Rabeeya Khan multiple times and blocked her way when she tried to escape. According to prosecutors, he launched into a profanity-laced tirade as he was waiting for a connecting flight on Wednesday evening from Aruba to Massachusetts. Robin Rhodes allegedly punched Rabeeya Khan’s office door asking the woman if she was sleeping. The woman jumped out of her seat as the door hit her chair and attempted to move away from her assailant asking Rhodes what caused him to act this way. At that moment, the man kicked Rabeeya Khan’s right leg and prevented her from escaping. Fortunately, another person intervened and stopped Rhodes just enough so that the woman could run away.
However, the violent attacker did not stop there. He chased the airline employee and started to bow down, in imitation of a Muslim praying. When the arresting officers got a hold of the man, he mockingly told them he was unaware whether the employee was male or female, as Rabeeya Khan had her back turned to him and was wearing a hijab.
Robin Rhodes is now awaiting trial and faces charges of unlawful imprisonment, harassment, assault, menacing, among various other hate crimes related charges. If the jury finds him guilty, the man could spend his next four years behind bars.
In the meantime, Delta airline officials deemed the man’s actions “totally unacceptable” via an official statement released on Friday.
“Delta has made its stance clear on these types of events. People who are violent or exhibit bullying behavior are not welcome”, said Anthony Black, Delta spokesman.
According to prosecutors, the man started off the assault by saying President Donald Trump will get rid of immigrants and Muslims currently residing within the nation’s borders. In response, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New York, Alaf Nasher also released a statement on Friday saying that no president or election gives bigots such as Robin Rhodes the right to attack Americans going about their business and observing their faith.
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