Man Charged With Harassing Muslim Teen Says He Spat on Her Accidentally: DA
QUEENS — The Ozone Park man with a lengthy rap who allegedly harassed a 15-year-old Muslim girl and called her a "terrorist" as she rode a city bus in Kew Gardens Hills last week said he spat on her accidentally, prosecutors said.
Perry Germano, 50, who police say had more than three dozens prior arrests, dating back to 1982, was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with attempted assault, aggravated harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, disorderly conduct and menacing as a hate crime.
Germano, according to his criminal complaint, told the police that he had an argument with the teen but denied spitting on her and making anti-Muslim statements.
"I had a dispute with a girl on the bus, I didn't intentionally spit on her, when I said 'F--k you' to her, spit came out of my mouth," he allegedly said. "I cocked my hand back at her, but never said anything about race or religion."
On Tuesday, police released surveillance images of Germano who approached the teen as they were riding the Q88 bus on the Horace Harding Expressway near Kissena Boulevard at 9 a.m. on April 7, according to the NYPD.
According to the criminal complaint, Germano shoved the teen and said to her: "F--k you, f--k your people, you Muslim, you are a terrorist."
He also allegedly spat on the girl several times and told her: "I'm not scared to hit you with my fist."
The complaint also said that a surveillance video of the incident shows Germano shoving the girl with his elbow, raising his fist and spiting on her.
According to a published report, the man became angry after the girl’s bag brushed up against him.
Police said Germano had 39 prior arrests, including for forgery, criminal possession of stolen property, theft and assault.
Germano was held in lieu of $3,000 bond and is due back in court on April 22. His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.