Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Dec. 18 that Eric Leon of Rego Park, Queens, New York, has been charged with assault as a hate crime and other charges for allegedly attacking Khaled Aly and his wife outside their home, in front of their two children, on Nov. 6, 2020.
Leon, 37, of Woodhaven Boulevard, was arraigned Dec. 17, 2020, before Queens Criminal Court Judge Eugene Guarino on a complaint charging him with assault in the second degree as a hate crime, two counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, Leon faces up to 15 years in prison, the press release from the DA’s office said.
According to the indictment quoted in the press release, on Nov. 6, Leon and his fiancée, who is also facing charges, allegedly approached the family in the rear parking area of their apartment building on Woodhaven Boulevard, where both families reside. Leon is alleged to have assaulted Aly, 38, when he tried to defend his wife after the defendant’s girlfriend grabbed her hijab and cursed at her.
According to the complaint, the 38-year-old victim told the defendant to leave them alone. Instead, Leon allegedly pushed his hands into Aly’s face and chest and shoved him to the ground.
The DA said in the press release, once Aly was defenseless on the pavement the defendant allegedly shouted obscenities, threatened to kill the man’s entire family and kicked the victim repeatedly in the head and face. The victim was treated at a nearby hospital for multiple fractures to his nose and face and required surgery.
“Perpetrators of hate crimes must be held accountable everywhere, certainly in the most diverse county in the nation. The defendant charged in this case allegedly attacked a couple – his own neighbors – because of his hate and prejudice against Muslims. The victim was terrorized and physically beaten as his wife and children cowered in fear. The defendant will answer for his alleged actions,” DA Katz was quoted saying the press release.