September 15, By Tara Law
An Astoria man left a mother and daughter bloodied and bruised after he who called them “dirty Muslims” and attacked them at a Forest Hills subway station on Wednesday, police said.
Anzela Suyunova, 37, was climbing the stairs at the 67th Avenue station with her mother, Nekadam Suyunova, 57, at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday, when they encountered Dimitrios Zias, a 40- year-old resident of Astoria.
“Go back to your f..king country you dirty Muslims,” Zias said to the women, according to police.
When the daughter responded to Zias’ statement, he spat and punched her in the face, police said. He knocked her to the ground and kept punching her.
When the mother tried to intervene, the defendant dragged her to the ground by her hair and continued punching the daughter, police said.
The daughter was left with bruises on her back and elbow, and the mother with a split lip and bruises on her face and legs.
When the police seized Zias, he said, “I don’t understand why I’m being arrested, is it because I’m rich and white?”
Zias has been charged with two counts of second degree harassment and assault in the third degree as a hate crime. His bail is set as a $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash.
According to the police, the Zias caused the mother and daughter “substantial pain, annoyance and alarm.” The pair declined medical attention.
Zias has a criminal history, according to police. He was arrested in 2015 for taking pictures with his phone under a woman’s skirt in a Manhattan store, police said.
In that case, he pleaded guilty to unlawful surveillance and was sentenced to five years probation.