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Ex-Teacher Faces Hate Crime Charge for Ripping Hijab Off Student, NYPD Says

By Trevor Kapp | May 25, 2017 9:23am | Updated on May 25, 2017 2:41pm

THE BRONX — The substitute teacher who ripped off an 8-year-old girl’s hijab at an Allerton elementary school earlier this month was arrested on hate crime charges Wednesday, the NYPD said.

Oghenetega Edah, 31, tore the headscarf off the second-grader at P.S. 76 in Allerton on Adee Avenue on May 2 after she sat in his chair, the Bronx District Attorney's Office said. 

"Go back to your seat!" Edah told the girl, according to prosecutors.

When she returned to the back of the classroom, Edah told her, "If you don't behave, I'm going to take your scarf off."

When she told him it's against her religion for anyone to see her hair, he barked, "I want to see your hair," then removed the hijab, according to the DA's Office.

The girl suffered an injury to her eye in the process and was later taken to Jacobi Hospital, the NYPD said.

Edah was fired by the Department of Education following the incident and surrendered to police Wednesday, law-enforcement officials said.

He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated harassment as a hate crime, police said.

He was arraigned Thursday morning and released on his own recognizance. He's due back in court July 10.

Information about his lawyer was not immediately available.