NEW YORK – Dimitrios Zias of Astoria was arrested for an attack on two women he thought were Muslim and was brought before the Criminal Court of Queens County, where he was charged with assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and harassment.
The incident, as reported in the police report before the Court, occurred on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 2 PM on the M and R line at the 67th Avenue station in the Forrest Hills section of Queens while the two women were getting off the M train at the stop.
The Greek-American, as police officer Gina Brown said, initially attacked the mother and daughter, yelling at them to go back to their country because he thought they were Muslims. The mother and daughter are, in fact, Jewish. The daughter, deeply annoyed by his behavior, asked him to repeat the phrase again. The accused allegedly spat on her and punched her, slamming the 37-year-old into the ground.
Her 57-year-old mother hurried to defend her daughter from the perpetrator’s fury and was attacked and injured.
Zias, 40, was reported to be under the influence and when he was arrested on the scene, told the police officers, “I don’t understand why I’m being arrested. Is it because I’m rich and white?”
The National Herald contacted the Queens Public Prosecutor, who confirmed the case, shared the court documents, and pointed out that the judge had decided to release him with either $50,000 bail in bonds or $25,000 in cash.
At the same time, he ordered the defendant to return to court on September 27th.
TNH contacted his lawyer, Dawn Martin, but has yet to receive an answer to our phone message.
The accused, as reported on the website www.dnainfo.com, was arrested in 2015 for illegally photographing a woman under her skirt while she was shopping in a Fifth Avenue clothing store, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to a suspended 5-year prison sentence.