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Mar 16, 2:00 PM EDT

Man accused of attacking Muslim at JFK pleads not guilty


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NEW YORK (AP) -- A businessman accused of attacking a Muslim worker at a Kennedy Airport lounge has pleaded not guilty in New York to hate crime charges.

Robin Rhodes, of Worcester, Massachusetts, made a brief appearance Thursday in state Supreme Court. He was indicted on charges of assault, menacing and unlawful imprisonment as hate crimes. He was released on bail. Neither he nor his lawyer commented outside court.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said such crimes are not tolerated.

Authorities say the 57-year-old Rhodes was on a layover from Aruba to Massachusetts in January when he punched a door, kicked the leg of a woman wearing a hijab, cursed Islam and, according to the woman, shouted: "Trump is here now. He will get rid of you."

His next court date is June 12.

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