A 14-year-old boy was in handcuffs Monday after authorities arrested him for the brutal attack of a Muslim man last month outside a Queens mosque.
According to the New York Daily News, the teen — who was not identified because of his age — was arrested for assaulting Mohamed Rasheed Khan on June 1 as the 59-year-old was leaving the Center for Islamic Studies on Jamaica Avenue.
The boy, who was joined by two friends during the attack, told authorities that the attack happened after one of his friends had suggested to play the “knockout game,” the Daily News reported.
The three boys then decided to attack Khan who was riding his bicycle, according to ABC7 New York. The two other boys are still being sought.
According to the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — which urged law enforcement to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime — Khan was wearing traditional Islamic attire at the time of the incident.
“Because of the location of the attack outside a mosque, the Islamic attire of the victim, and because nothing was stolen by the alleged attackers, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this troubling incident,” CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said in a statement. “We urge the NYPD to step up patrols in the area of the mosque, particularly during activities associated with the upcoming fast of Ramadan.”
Khan suffered multiple broken bones in his face, fractured ribs, a concussion and was not able to speak or open his eyes following the assault.
The organization also said that the boys, who did not steal anything from Khan, were allegedly seen laughing as they left the scene.
“My uncle is an American citizen, and did not deserve this, and he is very humble and he doesn't bother anybody,” Khan's niece told ABC following the attack. “He believes in Islamic ways—he was coming to pray, and Islam is all about love and caring for others. The criminals that did this, they don't identify with that.”
The other two boys in the assault were still being sought.