MIDTOWN, Manhattan — The NYPD released footage of a man who they believe lit a Muslim tourist’s blouse on fire in front of a luxury clothing store on Fifth Avenue last Saturday.
The 35-year-old victim, dressed in a traditional Muslim garb, was outside Valentino in midtown just before 9 p.m. when she says felt something warm on her left arm and noticed her blouse was on fire, police said.
She patted out the fire and saw a man standing next to her with a lighter in his hand, according to police.
The individual then walked away east on East 54th Street. Surveillance video shows the alleged attacker in a black tank top and dark-colored jeans.
The victim declined medical attention.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime and Task Force is investigating.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) condemned attack on the woman in the latest in a series of attacks on Muslims and urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to add resources for the investigation of hate crimes.
CAIR announced Tuesday a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the assault.
“It is important that the perpetrators of these crimes be apprehended and their motives be established,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The spike in incidents targeting American Muslims and their institutions is the inevitable result of the ongoing mainstreaming of Islamophobia we are witnessing in our society.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).