Oct. 22, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A Queens grand jury indicted a Jamaica man on hate crime charges for allegedly attacking Muslim New Yorkers in three separate incidents over the summer.
Naved Durrni, 30, was indicted and arraigned Friday on robbery, assault as a hate crime and other charges in Queens Supreme Court.
Durrni, of 106th Avenue, allegedly attacked and threatened multiple strangers who he believed were Muslim while yelling anti-Muslim statements at them in June and July 2021.
He first attacked a couple on June 29 as they were walking near Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in South Richmond Hill at about 9:15 p.m. He randomly struck a 31-year-old man without any provocation and then pulled on a 24-year-old woman’s hijab, according to the charges.
When the couple tried to get away by crossing the street, he chased them and allegedly snagged a box that the woman was carrying and ran off with it. Durrni allegedly yelled anti-Muslim slurs during the attack, saying in sum and substance “Mohammad was a liar,” the complaint states.
About an hour later, Durrni allegedly attacked another couple walking on Inwood Street in Jamaica and repeated the same statement that Mohammad was a liar. He allegedly punched a 56-year-old woman in the face and nose, fracturing her nose, according to the charges. The woman was treated at a nearby hospital, while the 64-year-old man she was with was unharmed.
He struck again nearly a month later on July 25 when he deliberately bumped into a 38-year-old woman—who was wearing traditional Muslim clothing—on Sutphin Boulevard at around 6:30 p.m., according to the charges.
He allegedly yelled at her that “Mohammad was a liar” and “Jesus tells the truth.” When the woman tried to call 911, Durrni allegedly pulled out a knife and pointed it at her before fleeing, according to the charges.
“As alleged, the defendant was motivated by his own biases and prejudice when he followed and struck four different victims whom he believed were Muslim,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “This kind of hateful behavior will not be tolerated in Queens – the most diverse county in the country.”
Durrni was arraigned Friday on an eight-count indictment charging him with robbery in the second degree as a hate crime, assault in the third degree as a hate crime, aggravated harassment in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and menacing in the second degree as a hate crime. He is due back in court on Jan. 24 and faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.