MANHATTAN, NY—An 18-year-old Muslim college student who claimed she was harassed by three drunk Donald Trump supporters on a Manhattan subway platform has been charged with falsifying a police report and could face up to two years in federal prison.
Baruch College student Yasmin Seweid of New Hyde Park on Long Island was arrested on Wednesday, December 14—two weeks after the alleged assault—on misdemeanor charges of filing a false police report and obstructing government administration. Each charge carries a sentence of up to one year.
Seweid told officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) on December 1, that she was the victim of a hate crime by three drunk white men supporting President-elect Trump. Seweid was headed home from school at about 10 p.m. on an uptown No. 6 platform at the 23rd Street and Park Avenue stop when she was approached by the men, according to reports.
The men tried to snatch her hijab and spewed hate-related obscenities, all while chanting Trump’s name, Seweid told the New York Daily News, who first broke the story.
“Oh look, a f—ing terrorist,” they purportedly yelled. “Get the hell out of the country!”
Seweid told the Daily News she moved toward the end of the train, but the men followed her and tried to grab her hijab, yelling, “Take that thing off!”—while other New Yorkers aboard the train sat idly by.
“People were looking at me and looking at what was happening and no one said a thing,“ Seweid said. “They just looked away.”
NYPD investigators were unable to corroborate her story, lacking any witness accounts or video evidence and gave her several opportunities to recant, police said.
Seweid stuck with her story for almost two weeks, but on Wednesday, December 14, confessed that she made the whole thing up, citing “family problems,” police said. She fabricated the assault because she was out drinking with friends, broke curfew and wanted to avoid being penalized by her strict Muslim parents, according to reports.
In the 10 days succeeding President-elect Trump’s election nearly 900 hate incidents were reported around the country, six of which were directed at Muslims, according to a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“We’re very disturbed by these distressing developments, but we hope that they do not detract from the numerous valid reports coming from the Muslim community,” said Albert Fox Cahn, director of strategic litigation at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) New York Chapter.
Cahn also called for sympathy.
“Clearly this has been a trying time for her and her family,” he told the Daily News. “We hope that they receive all possible support in this moving forward.”
Seweid was arraigned early Thursday, December 15 at Manhattan Criminal Court.