Police investigating hate crime at The Crossings


COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Colonie Police are investigating a hate crime at The Crossings.

The incident happened Monday at around 5:30 p.m.

Police say a man, who claimed to be a member of law enforcement, made disparaging and life-threatening remarks to the victim and his family based on their Muslim faith.

For Mohamed Benantar, a fun outing at The Crossings quickly turned into a terrifying ordeal.

He shared video of the altercation only with NEWS10 ABC. The video shows a man shouting racist comments at his young nephews. Benantar said he felt threatened when he went to approach the man.

Benantar claims the man said, “You came here to die. You’re going to die.”

The man later took off in a large white Mercedes Benz SUV with a small child.

The events left the family scared. They did not want their voice or face on camera, but Benantar told NEWS10 about the alarming confrontation while his family gave statements inside the Colonie Police Department.

Though he said people have made racist comments to him in the past, it’s the threat that made him call 911.

In an update Wednesday morning, police say they were able to identify and speak with the man in the video. Police say the man is not a law enforcement officer, but is instead an officer in the military.

Police say they have also spoken with the victim and several of his family members and have determined that probable cause for arrest does not currently exist.

However, police say the investigation is ongoing. Anyone who may have information about the incident or was at the Crossings on Monday, August 19, between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. should contact the Colonie Police Department at 518-783-2744.

Benantar said all he wants is an apology from the man to his family, though the man in the video could face a Harassment charge.

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