NEW YORK CITY — A 30-year-old man was attacked by men hurling anti-Muslim slurs while he was smoking a cigarette outside an Applebee's Monday night, cops said.
Abdullah Faruque later told reporters that he thought the attack was retaliation for the bombings at the Boston Marathon that occurred earlier that afternoon, but cops couldn't confirm that account.
“I saw the news, and then it hits me: That’s why I got jumped,” Faruque told the New York Post.
Faruque had just stepped out of the restaurant at 610 Exterior St. to smoke a cigarette when a group approached and engaged him in a conversation about 11:30 p.m., according to the NYPD.
Faruque, a Bangladesh native who grew up in The Bronx, said he recognized the men who had been drinking at the Applebee's bar, according to the Post.
They asked if he was Arab, but when Faruque said no and turned his head, one said, "Yeah, he's a f---ing Arab," the Post reported.
One of them then slugged the victim in the face and began hurling anti-Muslim slurs while raining down more blows, cops said.
Bronx leaders have called for tolerance and unity after the alleged attack.
“The Bronx stands together, as ‘One Bronx,’ united against hate of all kinds," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a statement Thursday. "Monday’s attack on Abdullah Faruque, motivated by race and in apparent misguided retaliation for the bombings at the Boston Marathon, is reprehensible."
Faruque refused medical attention at the scene, police said.
Cops are looking for one of the attackers described as in his early 20s.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).