Hate crime charges sought in February assault on Harford County Muslim teen

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BEL AIR, Md. (WBFF) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations plans to seek hate crime charges in a February assault in which, according to the organization, a Muslim teen was “verbally and physically assaulted” in a bias-motivated attack on Route 22 in the Bel Air area.

A 19-year-old teenager, Dawar Amir, was trying to make a turn, for which he had the right-of-way, on Route 22 on Feb. 27, according to CAIR.


Charles Valle Jr., 60, a “white male in a company van,” allegedly started harassing him then. Amir drove off, but Valle followed him into a parking lot, blocked off his vehicle, got out of his own car and approached Amir’s car in a threatening manner, according to CAIR.

Valle allegedly hit Amir in the face, grabbed his glasses and threw them to the sidewalk, shouting threatening remarks at him like, “Get out of my country” and “You are lucky you weren’t in my side of the town or I would have beaten and shot you.”

A bystander who saw the case came to Amir’s defense, standing between the men and helping Amir find his glasses, while telling the attacker he should not make such comments to anyone.

The alleged attacker then got back in his car and left.

“We urge law enforcement authorities to bring appropriate hate crime charges against the perpetrator,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry in a statement. “The physical, emotional, and psychological toll of such attacks must not be ignored or trivialized. We urge prosecutors to hold this alleged attacker accountable and to send a message to the public that hate crimes will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Valle was charged with assault in March.

CAIR is planning a press conference Wednesday on the plan to push for hate crime charges.

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