Seattle woman charged with hate crime against two Muslim women
Two Seattle Muslim women said they were simply trying to fill up at a gas station in Tukwila on Saturday when another woman started yelling slurs, kicked one woman and slammed a car door on her leg, and then pushed the other.
“I’m terrified, I’m crying,” said Imaan, one of the two Muslim women, recounting the incident during a news conference Thursday. “Never in my life have I experienced this kind of hatred and physical assault.” Imaan, 23, and her aunt, Maryan, 34, both American citizens of Somali descent, asked to be identified by their first names only, for fear of reprisal.
They said they were trying to get gas shortly before 6 p.m. at an ARCO AM/PM gas station and minimart on Tukwila International Boulevard. The pump didn’t appear to be working. A woman who was watching started calling them “suicide bomber,” asking if they were going to bomb this country, and telling them to “go back to your country,” Imaan said.
King County prosecutors identified the woman as 37-year-old Jennifer Leigh Jennings, also known as Jennifer Leigh Adams, of Burien, and on Thursday charged her with two felony counts of malicious harassment under the state’s hate-crime law.
Imaan said she went inside to talk to the clerk about the gas pump, and when she came back out, she saw Jennings slam a car door on her aunt’s leg, pull off her aunt’s headscarf and kick her. Imaan told Jennings to leave them alone and Jennings pushed her so hard that she fell, she said. Imaan said she was frantic, yelling for help from about a dozen or so bystanders who didn’t do anything, she said.