BAY RIDGE — A Bay Ridge man was charged with a hate crime Sunday after threatening to cut the throat of a Muslim NYPD officer and shouting "ISIS," police said.
Christopher Nelson, 36, was arrested Sunday and charged with a hate crime and first-degree aggravated harassment after he threatened Officer Aml Elsokary and her 16-year-old son Saturday while she was off-duty, police said.
Nelson shoved the teen on Ridge Boulevard near 67th Street, and when Elsokary fought him off, he shouted hateful statements and threatened to cut her throat, police said.
He also told her "go back to your country," according to a statement from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Elsokary works in Williamsburg's 90th Precinct in the crime analysis unit, according to local police, and had previously been recognized for her bravery after running into a burning building to warn and rescue residents.
In 2014, she was on patrol with her partner when they were driving by a fire at 32 Scholes St. and the two rushed into the building. She carried a baby out of the blaze and helped escort the baby's grandmother to safety.
Elsokary joined the borough president on Monday inside Brooklyn Borough Hall to denounce the attack, which comes as hate crimes are on the rise across the city.
NYPD Officer Aml Elsokary spoke at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Monday (DNAinfo/Alexandra Leon)
While she declined to comment on her personal experience during the attack, she said that her son is still “very shaken up.”
Elsokary thanked the community for its support, urging other victims of hate crimes to report them.
"I have faith in the law and faith in the justice system," she said, tearing up as she spoke. "We are all one. We are from all type of backgrounds."
Meanwhile, Adams called on the district attorney's office to institute a no-plea-bargain rule for those charged with hate crimes that would deny suspects the opportunity to plea guilty to a lesser charge such assault.
The borough president, a former police officer himself, commended Elsokary and other Muslim officers for their bravery, remembering the Muslim officers who served beside him after the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11.
"Muslim officers are not ISIS because of their religion, they are heroes because of their commitment to serve in the New York City Police Department — to protect us from ISIS," he said.
Adams also said he would be taking a delegation of Muslim officers to Trump Tower this week to ask for an audience with the president-elect so he can "see what his negative rhetoric is doing to Americans.
"We will ask him to sit down and send a strong message that this is a country of tolerance, this is a country of acceptance," he said.
Deputy Inspector William Gardner, head of the 90th Precinct, called Elsokary a "hardworking officer" who'd been working there since 2007.
"The 90th Precinct, and I, personally stand with her," he said. "We are very happy to learn of the arrest of the perpetrator this morning. We will continue to support her in anyway necessary."
The precinct extended further words of support on Twitter.
Another Muslim girl was harassed on a Queens bus while wearing a hijab in November, she said.