A Palestinian woman said she was assaulted and aggressively harassed while walking with her infant daughter and friend near Malden Center late Wednesday morning, in an apparent hate crime motivated by Monday’s attack at the Boston Marathon.
Malden resident Heba Abolaban said she and her friend, both wearing hijabs, were walking with their children on Commercial Street when a man forcefully punched her left shoulder and began shouting at them.
“He was screaming ‘F___ you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F___ you!’” Abolaban remembered. “Oh my lord, I was extremely shocked.”
She said the man – described as a white male in his thirties wearing dark sunglasses – kept shouting and walking toward her as she backed away.
“I did not say anything to him,” she said. “Not even that we aren’t terrorists…he was so aggressive.”
After about two minutes, Abolaban said the man continued his brisk walk toward Malden Center. Shaken, Abolaban called her husband in tears, and then 911.
“The police came and were so kind and helpful,” she said, though no suspects were arrested in the incident.