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Group: Alleged Terroristic Threats Against Couple In Car Motivated By Bias

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Brooklyn Park woman is facing charges for threatening a couple with a pellet rifle as they waited to pick up their son. And one Minnesota organization claims the incident was motivated by bias.

Nancy Kay Knoble, 48, was charged with one count of terroristic threats and reckless disregard.

According to the criminal complaint, on Friday, May 22, the couple had driven to Brooklyn Park to pick up their son from a friend's home.

When they arrived at the home, they waited outside for their son. While waiting Knoble approached the car on the passenger side and demanded to know what they were doing in the neighborhood.

According to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Knoble said the couple, who are Middle Eastern, looked "suspicious." The wife was wearing a hijab in the car.

The criminal complaint states Knoble was yelling at the couple when the wife noticed she was holding some sort of gun. The husband identified it as a dark colored rifle.

The husband said to Knoble that they were only there to pick up their son and were willing to show her which house so that she would believe them.

Knoble continued to yell at the couple, and demanded the husband get out of his car. When he did, she pointed the rifle at his back.

According to the criminal complaint, she then ordered him to walk up to the address where he claimed his son was.

As the came close to the door, the couple's son walked out. He asked what was going on and Knoble in return asked if the boy knew the couple. The boy said they were his parents.

The complaint states that Knoble then apologized and explained she had only been holding a pellet rifle.

Officers later went to Knoble's home where they found the pellet gun and smelled alcohol coming from her. She denied ever threatening the couple in the car.

Knoble is currently in jail on $40,000 bond.

"This incident raises questions about why a couple in their 50s sitting in their car in front of a family friend's home was apparently profiled and threatened by a member of the neighborhood watch," CAIR-MN executive director Jaylani Hussein said. "Law enforcement authorities should investigate a possible bias motive for this disturbing and potentially violent incident."

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