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President Biden reacts to possible hate crime attack on child in North Texas

Prosecutors ask for stronger charges in attempted drowning of Muslim child in North Texas
Prosecutors ask for stronger charges in attempted drowning of Muslim child in North Texas 02:16

DALLAS - President Joe Biden took to social media Monday to condemn an attack on a 3-year-old girl from Euless who was nearly drowned by a woman at an apartment complex pool, an act believed to have been racially motivated. 

"I am deeply disturbed by the reports of an attempted drowning of a 3-year-old Palestinian-American at a neighborhood pool," Biden said on his official @POTUS account on X. "No child should ever be subjected to a violent attack, and my heart goes out to the family."

The president was referring to an incident from May 19 at an apartment complex off of Highway 360 in Euless, when a 42-year-old woman allegedly attempted to drown the child because of her family's ethnicity.

Elizabeth Wolf Euless PD

Euless police responded to the disturbance at the apartment complex's community pool. 

The victim's mother, who wears a hijab, told officers that another woman, identified as 42-year-old Elizabeth Wolf, had asked where she was from and made comments about her not being American. 

Wolf then allegedly grabbed the woman's 6-year-old son, who was able to pull away. Police say she then went after the 3-year-old girl, dragged her into the pool and attempted to force her under the water. 

Witnesses intervened, and the girl was not physically harmed.

Wolf was arrested at the time of the incident for public intoxication and later charged with injury to a child and attempted capital murder. She bailed out of jail in one day.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, also known as CAIR, is calling for state and federal hate crimes investigations into the case.

The Tarrant County District Attorney confirmed Monday morning it has the details of the case, and is reviewing it.

North Texas criminologist Alex Del Carmen said that "hate crime enhancements" can add additional penalties to the original crime and also increase the sentence.

"It is it is probably one of the most serious offenses that a person can commit in society, especially when you add that to an attempted murder.," Del Carmen said. "In this particular case, it seems to me to be able to they must have enough evidence to be able to suggest that in fact, this is a no-brainer that this person will be prosecuted and it's also sending a message to the community."

Del Carmen also says the crime could be picked up by federal prosecutors. 

"We are talking about state law right now, but this also is subject to federal law," she said. "So, if the feds feel like this crime rises to the level that the U.S. attorney's office needs to come in and review it, they may do that."

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