CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. -- Police say a woman harassed and insulted a group of Muslims praying at a California park Sunday, before throwing a coffee at one man who was recording the incident with his cell phone, reports CBS San Francisco.
The group said they gather weekly for volleyball and prayer at Lake Chabot Regional Park, near San Francisco. On Sunday, a woman, identified as Denise Slader, encountered the men around 3 p.m. and began insulting the Islamic faith and accusing the group of being terrorists. Slader is an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, according to parks spokesperson Carolyn Jones.
Rasheed Albeshari recorded Slader and posted the video to Facebook.
"The people you tortured are going to be in eternity and heaven. You are very deceived by Satan. Your mind has been taken over, brainwashed and you have nothing but hate," Slader was recorded saying.
Albeshari told the Bay Area News Group that he and his friends told Slader they believe "in Jesus, we respect Jesus. But she came back and told us Allah is Satan and that Muslims were all trying to destroy everything nice. That's when I started videotaping."
"This woman came from nowhere," Albeshari told CBS San Francisco on Wednesday. "She was yelling, 'Allah is Satan!' 'The Koran is evil!' and 'You are a bunch of brainwashed murderers!'"
A park ranger attempted to intervene and said Slader was behaving inappropriately.
Slader responded: "It is inappropriate, you're right, for somebody to tape record me."
Albeshari then says, "this lady is talking about my God," before Slader can be seen approaching the camera. Police said Slader hit Albeshari with an umbrella and tossed her coffee at him.
Slader was not arrested, but police wrote a report recommending that the Alameda County District Attorney charge Slader with misdemeanor battery. The Los Angeles Times reports that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is investigating whether Slader violated any agency personnel policies.
Albeshari, an American citizen, told CBS San Francisco that he used to live Yemen, but moved back to California's Bay Area because of how tolerant the people were.
"Sometime when I watch the news, I see these things -- things of hate. But I never thought they would happen to me. Not in the Bay Area," Albeshari said. He said he's been comforted by an outpouring of support on Facebook, where video of the incident has been viewed more than 150,000 times.