Coronavirus News: Couple accused of hate crimes after pulling mask off Hasidic man in Brooklyn

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A husband and wife are facing hate crime charges for allegedly snatching the face mask off a Hasidic man and making anti-Semitic comments related to COVID-19.

The incident was reported Sunday night at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Ross Street.

ABC News reports Paul Pinho allegedly called 911 to report a large crowd gathering, according to police. He and his wife allegedly got out of their car, accosted the men, shouting out slurs and attempted to take away their face coverings, according to the NYPD.

The chaos caused a fight and police say 35-year-old Pinho and 46-year-old Clelia Pinho were taken into custody.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio commented on the incident during a press briefing Monday and called it "absolutely unacceptable in every way."

"It is something that expresses hate, but also creates danger, and that is unacceptable and we are not going to allow it here in this city," de Blasio said. "The two perpetrators have been arrested by NYPD and we are treating this incident as a hate crime so there are serious consequences."

They each face a charge of aggravated harassment as a hate crime.


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