Woman Under Hate Crime Investigation After Video Shows Her Hurling Coffee at Father, Toddler in Brooklyn Playground Over Palestinian Scarf

NYPD hate crime
The woman was captured on video throwing her cellphone and a hot coffee at the father and the son for allegedly wearing a Palestinian scarf in Brooklyn. Instagram

The NYPD is asking for the public's help in identifying a woman, who allegedly accosted a Brooklyn dad and his 18-month-old son at a playground on Nov. 7, throwing her cellphone and a cup of hot coffee at them and calling them "terrorists."

The 40-year-old victim, who has been revealed to be Ashish Prashar, was wearing a black and white Palestinian scarf known as a keffiyeh at the time. He was with his toddler son at a school playground in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, when the incident took place.

Prashar said the woman became upset after his toddler started to interact with her young son in what Prashar believed to be a lighthearted moment between the children. He said he reached for his phone to record the screaming woman, hoping that the camera would force her to calm down. But the woman became violent upon seeing the camera, he said.

"My whole goal was to protect my son," Prashar said. "There was disbelief in the beginning when she called me a terrorist. But then it got worse, and it got more serious. I needed to protect my son and keep him at a safe distance."

In video that Prashar captured on his cell phone, the woman is seen throwing her phone at Prashar. He said that was moments before she threw a cup of hot coffee at him and his son.

The individual at large in the playground attack is described as a female, with a light complexion and small build. She was last seen wearing a black and white baseball hat, black sunglasses, gray scarf, black zip-up jacket, black fanny pack, black sweatpants, and white sneakers.

The incident comes as Muslims, Palestinians and Jews in the US say they are becoming increasingly fearful of hate-motivated attacks as war between Israel and Hamas rages in the Middle East.

Israel declared a military offensive against Hamas after the militant group's surprise attack on the country on October 7, which left 1,400 people dead. Since then, Israeli attacks have killed more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, drawing from sources in the Hamas-controlled territory.