Hate Crime Charged In Face-Biting Attack After Barrage of Anti-Muslim Slurs

The ugly altercation in Virginia is part of a surging tide of incidents across the nation.

A Virginian accused of biting a stranger on his face after shouting anti-Muslim slurs at the man in a shopping mall parking lot has been charged with a hate crime, police said.

The confrontation occurred late last year, but the suspected attacker wasn’t arrested until Monday, after a lengthy investigation, according to Fairfax County police officials.

Robin McGreer, 35, has been charged with bias-related malicious bodily injury, officials said.

Investigators said McGreer approached the unidentified victim outside a shopping center in McLean, Virginia, began a conversation, then began hurling anti-Muslim insults. The two men fought, and McGreer bit the man’s face before fleeing, police said.

The victim was treated at a hospital for a “significant facial wound,” according to a police statement. It wasn’t known if the injured man was Muslim.

Hate crimes are on a chilling upward trajectory in the U.S., particularly since the presidential election. The Southern Poverty Law Center has tallied more than 700 hate incidents nationally since the Nov. 8 election. 

There have been waves of bomb threats this year, with 13 Jewish community centers and eight schools across the nation targeted Monday, forcing evacuations in at least 12 states.

Monday evening, another flurry of bomb threats struck Jewish centers, organizations and at least one school in California, Washington and Arizona. The Huffington Post is tracking the threats here

Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were vandalized over the last week. In both cases, Muslim communities pledged to raise funds to help with restoration.

In another tragedy being investigated by the FBI as a hate crime, Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, Kansas, appeared in Johnson County District Court on Monday to face charges in a bar shooting. Purinton has been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder after the death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and the wounding of two other men in suburban Kansas City. Witnesses said that Purinton told Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Madasani, 32, to “get out of my country.” Both men came to the U.S. from India to study and work at a tech company. Purinton reportedly told another bar owner several hours later that he had shot two “Iranians.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted Sunday that President Donald Trump must “step up and speak out” against hate crimes. 

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