Officials in Chino Hills, California are pursuing hate crime charges against a man who allegedly threatened a Muslim woman with a knife.
According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 40-year-old Daniel Senteno is accused of making threatening remarks to a Muslim woman while brandishing a knife at a car wash on Thursday.
Senteno reportedly followed the woman until she was able to ask a manager to contact authorities.
“It is my understanding the investigators will pursue hate crime charges,” San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokesperson Cindy Bachman told the Daily Bulletin.
Senteno was being held at the West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $75,000 bond. He was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats and brandishing a weapon.
The Daily Bulletin noted that attacks against Muslims have increased following the mass shooting in San Bernardino earlier this month.
While it was not immediately known if the Chino Hills victim was wearing a hijab, Amjad M. Khan of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA pointed out that Muslim women are increasingly being targeted for wearing the religious head coverings.
“We don’t want the headscarf to be associated with terrorism; we want her act to be associated with terrorism,” Khan explained. “The headscarf is the opposite, the headscarf is part of the solution.”
“It’s not just an act of religious worship, it is a symbol and a counter message to those who radicalized,” he added.