BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Police are currently seeking a man connected to two hate crimes against a food vendor in Astoria.
Farid El-Baghdadi, owner of Farid Grill, a halal food truck on Steinway Street near 25th Avenue, was sitting outside of his truck talking with a customer on Monday night when he was attacked with rotten eggs.
The perpetrator tossed several eggs from the roof of a building across the street from the truck with small pieces of paper taped to the eggs reading “F-U Muslim” and “Go back to your country.”
According to reports, this was not the first time this happened to El-Baghdadi, who said that he doesn’t want the perpetrator to go to jail, but wants to know their reason for the attack.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the crime and local elected officials are angered by the continuous attacks within their district.
“This act of hatred makes me angry and I deplore it,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria). “Not only does it hurt and insult the man who was the direct target, it hurts and sows fear in Astoria’s immigrant community and disturbs all of Astoria’s law-abiding residents.”
Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) said that such harassment and assault has no place in his community.
“As hate crimes have risen this past year, we reaffirm our core American beliefs in justice and unity, and stand against hatred and bigotry,” said Constantinides.
Both elected officials have encouraged persons with information regarding the perpetrator to contact the NYPD.
The Queens Tribune called El-Baghdadi for comment but he is taking time off for the remainder of the week.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org