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Muslim Store Owner Attacked in Astoria, Police Investigate Possible Hate Crime

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Dec. 9, 2015 By Michael Florio

A Muslim man was beaten Saturday in his Astoria store Saturday in what police are investigating as a hate crime.

Sarker Haque, 53, was punched in the face numerous times on Saturday afternoon with the attacker saying, “I kill Muslims,” according to a Pix 11 News report.

The suspect, who police identified as Piro Kolvani, attacked Haque in his shop, Fatima Food Market, on 21st Ave.

According to the Pix 11 report, Kolvani struck Haque in the head, causing him to fall on the ice cream cooler.

Haque said he asked Kolvani, “What is wrong with you?” to which he replied, “I kill Muslims.”

Kolvani continued to strike him with his left hand, swinging as hard as he could, a teary eyed Haque said.

Two good Samaritans intervened and came to Haque’s aid.

Police arrested Kolvani on Saturday. He is now facing assault charges.

It was not until after the arrest that Haque told officers about the hateful language said during the attack, according to a spokeswoman for the NYPD.

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is now investigating this incident, according to police.

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