A Muslim woman walking with her nine-month old daughter was physically and verbally assaulted Wednesday by an angry pedestrian following the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“He said, ‘(Expletive) you. (Expletive) you Muslims, you are terrorists, you are the ones who made the Boston explosion,” said Heba Abolaban, a 26-year-old Muslim woman originally from Palestine. “I was really, really completely shocked. I didn’t know what to do. Then I realized what happened. I was crying and crying.”
Per the Boston Globe, Abolaban was pushing her daughter and walking with a friend Wednesday morning when an angry-faced man approached them. The man punched Abolaban in the shoulder before screaming profanities just inches from her face.
“I was so afraid he might hurt my baby,” said Abolaban, a physician who wears a traditional hijab - or head scarf.
Unsure of what to do following the assault, Abolaban’s husband encouraged her to call police. Officers from Malden, a quickly changing city of 60,000 that now has the second-highest percentage of immigrants in Massachusetts, were extremely helpful, according to Abolaban.
“They were there within two minutes. They were so kind. They were so helpful,” she said. “The Malden police chief – he called me two times.”
In addition to calls from Police Chief Kevin Molis, Abolaban also received a call from Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, along with a wave of community support.
Although police have been unable to locate Abolaban’s attacker - described as a white male in his mid-thirties - they vowed to continue searching.
“No investigative strategy will be overlooked in order to determine who’s responsible for this,” Mollis said. “This is something that as a city and as a police department we take seriously. “
“It is our role to make sure that all our rights are protected and preserved,” he continued. “That is why we became police officers."