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Man sought for assault after yanking Muslim woman's hijab in Manchester restaurant

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 02. 2018 8:41PM
Manchester police say this unidentified man pulled a woman's hijab on Friday, June 22 about 4:45 p.m. at Farm Bar and Grille on Elm Street. (COURTESY)

MANCHESTER — A woman living in Manchester said she was shocked and froze up when a stranger came up to her two weeks ago and pulled on her hijab while she sat at a downtown restaurant.

Police said the simple assault took place on June 22, a Friday, at Farm Bar and Grille. Police released a picture of the man Monday and asked for help in identifying him.

“I always thought I had a plan on how to act when I face such a situation, but when this happened I was shocked and suddenly froze and didn’t know what to do,” wrote Riman Douedari, 25, on her Facebook account. She was at the restaurant with her coworkers, who yelled at the person and made him leave the restaurant.

A hijab is a traditional headress worn by many Muslim women.

Douedari works as an administrative assistant at Southern New Hampshire University, according to her Facebook post.

Police said the simple assault took place about 4:45 p.m.

“The man did not say anything to her prior to the incident, but pulled on the hijab long enough to cause discomfort to her chin and head,” police said in a statement. He walked toward the bar, but left when confronted by the woman’s coworkers.

One coworker took a picture of a profile of the man, which police released. Douedari posted a facial shot taken by a co-worker. That shows a man with wavy, light hair, light eyebrows and pinched lips.

“It’s deplorable what happened, obviously,” said Mike Cappock, assistant manager at the Farm Bar and Grille, 1181 Elm St.

He said the restaurant has shared its security camera footage with police, showed images to its employees and shared images on social media.

“We get a lot of regulars who come in and out, and he’s not one of them,” Cappock said.

In her post, Douedari credited her SNHU co-workers with confronting the man.

“I can’t be more thankful for having such great people in my life, who actually care about me and my personal beliefs!” she wrote. In a subsequent post, Douedari said she has lived in Manchester for three years and this is the first time she had to deal with such a situation.

Anyone who can identify the man should contact Manchester police at 668-8711 and reference case number 18-9416.

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