FORT LAUDERDALE - Charges against a Wilton Manors man accused ofand ripping off her hijab have been upgraded to a hate crime.
According to the Broward State Attorney's Office, after prosecutors reviewed all of the evidence, facts, and circumstances surrounding the incident earlier this month, they filed a formal charge of battery ( ) against Kenneth Pinkey. The hate crime enhancement raises the charge from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony and the maximum possible penalty is up to 15 years in state prison.
The postal worker, who was in full uniform, was walking up to a residence on NW 9th Avenue to deliver mail, when Kenneth Pinkney, 47, rode past her on a bike and reportedly formed his hand into a gun shape and made a shooting gesture at her. He then allegedly called her "derogatory names" and told her to go back to her country.
When the postal worker tried to laugh off his comments, Pinkney reportedly went up to her, ripped off her hijab, and began to punch and slap her in the face.
When she tried to get back into her USPS truck, Pinkney is accused of attempting to grab her leg. She ended up tearing her shirt in an effort to get away, according to police.
When she told him she was going to call the police, he allegedly said was going to do the same.
When officers arrived, Pinkney was arrested and originally charged with battery. Police said based on his comments about the woman's "ancestry, religion, and national origin," he was also charged with second-degree felony evidence prejudice.
Pinkney is being held without bond.
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