A West Hartford man is charged with a hate crime after lashing out at a woman because she's Muslim
A 68-year-old West Hartford man was arrested on Saturday, accused of hate crimes against a woman because she is Muslim.
A 55-year-old West Hartford woman was at the pharmacy of Walgreens, on North Main Street, waiting for a prescription on Saturday afternoon, when Michael Germain, of West Hartford, began saying obscene and racially insensitive things about her heritage, according to police.
Germain had first complained about waiting in the pharmacy line, then made disparaging racial remarks, told the woman to leave and threatened to punch her, she told police.
After the woman left, Germain told a pharmacy tech that he was upset that "Americans got killed in the Embassy" (in Libya), according to the police report.
The verbal attack was completely unprovoked, a pharmacy employee told police said, and the victim said nothing back during Germain's verbal attack.
As the victim left the store, she called 911 and told the assistant manager that a man "flipped out on her for being a Muslim," according to statements given to police.
Police said the victim was so upset that she was crying and shaking.
Police arrested Germain at his home at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.
When questioned about what happened at Walgreens, Germain told officers that he exchanged words with an "Arab woman" and that he was upset about Americans dying overseas at the hands of "Muslims."
Germain denied threatening to punch the woman, but admitted to making anti-Muslim statements, according to police.
When NBC Connecticut contacted Germain by phone, he said, "It was a misunderstanding. I think it will all be straightened out eventually."
He declined further comment and said he'll be hiring an attorney.
He was charged with hate crimes, breach of peace in the second degree and threatening in the second degree and is due in court on Sept. 27.