Off-duty ‘hero’ cop wearing hijab threatened in Bay Ridge

Hero: Officer Aml Elsokary, who was harassed while off duty for being a Muslim, won an award for her police service in 2015.
NYPD

Police arrested a man who allegedly threatened an off-duty police officer who was wearing a hijab, yelled bigoted slurs at the decorated hero and her teenage son, and told them to “go back to your country” on Dec. 3, according to a police report.

Police Officer Aml Elsokary dropped her 16-year-old son at the corner of Ridge Boulevard and 67th Street and then parked her car a little before 6 pm on Saturday. While she was parking, a guy started shoving her son, police said. The off-duty cop intervened, and the man called her an “ISIS b—-” before threatening her life, police officials claim.

“I will cut your throat. Go back to your country,” the man allegedly screamed at Elsokary — one of few Muslim officers who wears a hijab on duty, according to the department’s Muslim Officers Society.

But Elsokary is a hero — and a native New Yorker to boot.

She rushed into a burning Williamsburg building and rescued a baby and its grandmother in 2014, earning her a service award for her bravery.

Elsokary joined the police department shortly after 9-11, and her Muslim faith was a major motivator, according to Mayor DeBlasio.

“She sought to show people that the terrible acts of that day contradicted the teachings of Islam,” he said at a 2014 Ramadan dinner at Gracie Mansion. “And so she became a police officer. Because she wanted to demonstrate her faith through service.”

Cops picked up a 36-year-old man at his Ridge Boulevard apartment on Sunday and charged him with him with menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment.

The disturbing incident is the latest in a growing number of bias crimes reported across the city since the Nov. 8 election, one area pol said.

“While the current political climate seems to have given false permission to unveil racist and vile comments, be it known that this great City, the melting pot of the world, will not fall victim to this disgusting behavior,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge).

Elsokary put bigots on watch during a Dec. 5 press conference at Borough Hall.

“My message to the community is that this is not going to be accepted and that I have faith in Allah and have faith in our justice system that they’re not going to allow this to happen,” said Elsokary. “So for those who have the idea that they can continue to taunt us, it’s not going to be accepted and we will stand up to them. I can stand up for my sisters, and I know that there are other people who will stand up.”

Borough President Adams blamed President-Elect Trump directly for the spike in hate crimes since the election, and he has asked The Donald for a meeting in Trump Tower in the coming days — Adams has not gotten a response but said he will “do it Brooklyn-style and show up anyway” if he must.

“We’ll ask the president-elect to give these officers an audience so he can see firsthand what some of the negative rhetoric is doing to Americans,” he said. “And we will ask him to sit down and send a strong message of tolerance that this is a country of acceptance. A country that will not accept mothers and their children being harassed in their neighborhood.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.

More from Around New York

>