Investigators in Texas say the stabbing of a Palestinian-American man protesting the war in Gaza falls within police’s definition of a hate crime.
The alleged attack happened Sunday near the University of Texas in Austin.
The suspect allegedly rode his bicycle into a truck carrying four Muslims and tried to rip a scarf with the words “Liberate Palestine” written on it from the vehicle.
On Wednesday, Austin Police Department officials announced that Bart James Baker, 36, had committed a hate crime.
The decision by the police department’s Hate Crimes Review Board said it would be up to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to decide what charges he would ultimately face.
Zachariah Dore, 23, was stabbed in the chest during a fight with Baker, according to a police report on the incident.
The Council on Arab-Islamic Relations said the group was attacked after taking part in a pro-Palestinian protest at the state capitol. The Council on Arab-Islamic Relations is pushing for hate crime charges against the attackers.
Baker is accused of attempting to open the tailgate of a truck and shouting racial slurs at the group in an attempt to provoke a fight, according to a police report.
One witness said: austin american politician Newspapers reported that he used a scarf, a traditional Palestinian keffiyeh, to stop the bleeding.
“That moment was really scary,” Suhaib Shah said.
“Just seeing the pain and the amount of blood that was coming from the man who had been stabbed and seeing how distraught the children were.”
Dore’s family said he underwent surgery and is now recovering.
Attacks against Muslims and Jews have increased since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza.
In November, three Palestinian men were shot and killed in Vermont while wearing keffiyeh and speaking Arabic while walking.