18-year-old who said three white men harassed her on NY train faces two charges
She was reported missing a week after the alleged incident
A college student who alleged that three drunken men had hurled anti-Muslim insults at her on a New York subway was arrested for making a false report, according to the NYPD.
Yasmin Seweid, 18, faces charges for filing the false police report and obstructing governmental administration, police said. She was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court and subsequently released on her own recognizance on Wednesday, according to Manhattan Criminal Court spokesperson Lucian Chalfen.
Seweid is being represented by Benjamin West who works for Manhattan Legal Aid. CNN attempted to contact West multiple times. The court documents in her case are sealed because Seweid qualifies for mandatory youthful offender status, according to Chalfen.
Seweid had said she was riding the subway on December 1 after leaving a school event at Baruch College.
During that ride, three drunk white men insulted her, told her to take off her hijab, and pulled the strap of her bag, she told CNN affiliate in New York WCBS. Seweid said she heard her harassers refer to Donald Trump.
She alleged that everyone in the train “was looking, no one said a thing. Everyone just looked away.”
Seweid’s accusations came as hate crimes and harassment against Muslims increased after the elections.
CNN made multiple attempts to reach her family and also tried to contact Seweid through her social media accounts for comment, but has not heard back.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the alleged Dec. 1 incident, saying that Muslims “who wear religious attire are being increasingly targeted by hate nationwide.”
After learning that the initial reports were false, CAIR New York Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Cahn said that while the development was distressing, he hopes “they do not detract from the numerous reports coming from the Muslim community.”
“We still believe that anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination and hate crimes are underreported and this one incident shouldn’t stand as a barrier to the numerous New Yorkers who need to come forward when something like this happens,” Cahn told CNN.
Seweid’s story was widely reported by local media outlets. A CNN contributor also mentioned the alleged incident on air.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force had been investigating the case, according to WCBS.
About a week after the alleged incident, Seweid was reported missing. She was last seen leaving her New Hyde Park house on December 7 while carrying a bag containing clothing. She was found three days later, according to the Nassau County Police Department.
CNN’s Lauren del Valle contributed to this report.