Pregnant Shabana Chaudhry was walking to a playground in Marine Park with her two-year-old son ina stroller on Sept. 6, when they were attacked by Andrew Laina, 28, in the park's parking lot court papers charge. He tried to grab their son and punched her husband. Laina is facing up to four years in prison for assault as a hate crime. (Photo: Jesse Ward/For New York Daily News)
A Pakistani family was allegedly attacked by a violent former Marine during an afternoon stroll to the park — at least the second anti-Muslim hate crime in Brooklyn in as many weeks, the Daily News has learned.
Shabana Chaudhry, 29, who’s nine months pregnant, was walking to a playground with her two-year-old son in a stroller, not far from her Marine Park home on Sept. 6, when they were allegedly accosted by Andrew Laina.
“What are you doing in my neighborhood? Get out, Arab,” he yelled at the woman, who was wearing traditional garb, court papers charge. He then decked her husband Muhammad Rizwan, 29, who immigrated to the U.S. just a month ago, and tried to grab their son, Talha.
“It was really scary,” Chaudhry said, adding the offender was persistent and clearly intoxicated.
“He wasn’t fighting with anyone else, but he wouldn’t leave us alone,” she said.
“I didn’t expect something like this,” said Rizwan, who was thrown to the ground but escaped without injuries.
Former Marine Andrew Laina (pictured) allegedly yelled at Shabana Chaudhry to get out of the neighborhood as she walked to a Marin Park playground with here family and punched her husband Muhammad Rizwan.
“It was not my intention to fight.”
Cops responded and cuffed Laina, a known nuisance with a lengthy rap sheet.
“I am not the enemy. They are terrorists,” the criminal complaint quoted him as telling police.
“I am a Marine. I was in Iraq. I killed 14 people.”
Laina, 28 is facing up to four years in prison for assault as a hate crime. His Facebook page shows him dozing off while wearing fatigues and crawling in muck. The disgraceful defendant had pleaded guilty to petty crimes at least five times over the past two years, doing a few weeks in jail at most, records show.
“He should definitely not be out on the streets until he’s safe for the kids in the neighborhood,” Chaudhry said.
Her experience was reminiscent of what happened to Arab activist Linda Sarsour, who was also wearing a hijab when a neighborhood boozer in Bay Ridge last week spouted expletives and allegedly threatened to behead her and a colleague. The accused attacker in that incident has also been slapped with bias crime charges.
Chaudhry said she sometimes overhears a hateful racial remark, but never experienced any violence.
“We’ve never had a problem before. It’s safe,” she said of the neighborhood where she has lived for the past five years.
“At least we thought it was safe.”
New York Daily News - September 14, 2014 - BY Oren Yaniv