An Ohio man is facing criminal charges for allegedly lying about being the victim of an anti-Palestinian hate crime.
According to WKYC, citing the North Ridgeville Police Department, 20-year-old Hesham A. Ayyad came to a local hospital on Oct. 22, and told officers that he had been hit by a car in an incident that was "racially motivated."
CAIR Called for Immediate Investigation Following Ayyad's Claims
The following day, the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for an immediate investigation into Ayyad's claims.
"We call on state, local and federal law enforcement authorities to monitor and investigate crimes related to the rising Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism," Faten Odeh, CAIR-Ohio, Cleveland Interim Executive Director said in a statement. "We hope the North Ridgeville Police Department and the FBI will collect all the information they need to charge this individual with a hate crime. We should all feel safe to walk down the street to grab a bite to eat, go to the store and go to school."
CAIR said in a press release that Ayyad said that he was walking home from lunch and was hit by an individual in a dark SUV while he was walking along the road.
According Ayyad, the driver aggressively swerved the SUV and rolled down the window and yelled, "Kill all Palestinians" and "Long live Israel." The driver then allegedly turned around and hit the man while shouting "DIE!"
Police Found Ayyad was Actually Injured in Fight with His Brother, Never Struck by a Vehicle
According to WKYC, police investigated Ayyad's and found that his allegations were fabricated. After investigators viewed multiple video sources from the area and examined them with times of the call for service, they said Ayyad had lied about being struck by a vehicle and also lied about the racial slurs that were said to him at the time of the incident.
Police found that he was injured during a violent fight with his brother, 19-year-old Khalil A. Ayyad. Both brothers were arrested and charged with domestic violence and assault.
In addition, Hersham Ayyad is accused of making false alarms, falsification, and obstructing official business. The two brothers were released from custody Wednesday after each posted bond.
In a statement Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Islamic council said the organization is seeking more information about arrests. "Our understanding is that the brothers have secured their own legal counsel. We do not yet know anything more about the nature of the charges," the statement said.