CAIR Seeks Hate Crime Charges for Attack on Fla. Worker Driver allegedly ran down man he thought was Middle Eastern 'terrorist'
(TAMPA, FL, 4/29/11) -- The Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR-Tampa) today called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to add hate crime charges to those already brought against a man who allegedly ran down a Clearwater, Fla., road worker he thought was a Middle Eastern "terrorist."
CAIR said Gerald Christopher Prebe, 35, allegedly tried to kill the city employee Thursday afternoon by running him down with his truck. He reportedly told investigators he "thought the worker was a terrorist, possibly of Middle Eastern descent, and wanted to kill him." The alleged attacker was charged with attempted murder and is being held on $100,000 bond.
The 53-year-old African-American victim was hospitalized due to a fractured neck and internal bleeding.
"Because of the apparent bias motive in this case, state and federal law enforcement authorities should consider adding appropriate hate crime charges," said CAIR-Tampa Communications Director Ramzy Kiliç. "We believe these types of incidents are an inevitable result of the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in American society."
Kiliç noted that CAIR recently called for a hate crime investigation of two apparently bias-motivated attacks on a Georgia mosque. Vandals twice this month shattered doors and windows of the Islamic Center of Cartersville with rocks, one of which was reportedly painted with "Muslim murderers."
Kiliç said American Muslim individuals and institutions are being urged to review advice on security procedures contained in CAIR's "Muslim Community Safety Kit."
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Communications Director Ramzy Kiliç, 813-486-2529, 813-766-2745, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin,202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org