SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- It has all the markings of a bias crime - two teenagers coming out of a mosque in Brooklyn were viciously beaten, but on Monday night, police said they are not investigating the attack as a hate crime.
Police say the suspect punched and kicked the victims until their faces were disfigured and swollen. One victim suffered a concussion. Police say they know who the suspect is.
The two victims had just left prayer services at the Muslim Community Center on 3rd Avenue in Sunset Park when they saw a car parked out front that was running. They were looking at the car when the attacker came behind them and struck one of the teenagers. The victim fell to the ground, where the suspect repeatedly stomped and kicked his head. They suspect then chased the other victim, pushed him off his bike, and kicked him.
The police story and the mosque version of the story differ -- the police say it is not a hate crime, and that it did not meet the standard. People at the mosque beg to differ, saying they clearly heard the words "you (expletive) terrorist."
Police say that because the attack does not have any elements of a hate crime, it will not be prosecuted as such. They say they know where the attacker lives in the neighborhood, but they have not been able to find him yet.
2 teens viciously beaten outside Brooklyn mosque; police not investigating as hate crime