BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A
Brooklyn postal worker has been hit with hate crime charges after harassing and spitting on two Muslim women who were walking with a baby on Nostrand Avenue Friday night, police said.
Dainton Coley, 33, who works at the USPS location on Atlantic Avenue, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of acting in a manner injurious to a child, aggravated harassment and menacing as a hate crime, police said.
Police brought Coley in to the 79th Precinct stationhouse days after they said he launched a vitriol-laced tirade against a pair of Muslim women he bumped into while they were walking a baby in a stroller down Nostrand Avenue near Macon Street at 8:20 p.m. Friday.
Coley threatened the women — both of whom were wearing traditional head scarves — with “burning her temple down,” according to police sources and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
He then followed the women to Nostrand Avenue and Halsey Street, where he spat in one of the women’s faces. The harassment continued inside the nearby NBA Deli where he continued to harangue them, according to surveillance footage from inside the bodega.
The surveillance video shows Coley — who appears to be wearing his USPS uniform — standing at the counter of the deli, turning repeatedly to the women behind him and pointing his finger in their faces while shouting at them and the baby.
At one point, Coley follows one of the women to a refrigerated case just off camera, before returning to the counter.
Gameel Abdulla, the owner of the deli, said he was in the back of the store when he heard shouting. He said he rushed to the front of the store to find Coley lambasting the women and child.
“I came in between [them] because the woman had a baby. I did not want the baby to get hurt.”
Abdulla, who can be seen in the video stepping between Coley and the baby stroller, said he asked him to calm down as tensions escalated.
“The woman was telling him stop following them and to leave them alone,” he said.
Finally, at the end of the video, one of the women appears to reach her breaking point, rushing at Coley and shouting at him, before he recoils and flees the store.
Abdulla said Coley has been a visible presence on the block, adding “he’s always yelling in the street.”
Yousif Adailam, a clerk at the store, added that Coley frequents the deli and has been a problem before.
“He comes here a lot and is always drinking on the job,” Adailam said. “He always has a beer in his hand and sometimes bothers customers.”
CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique asked the U.S. Postal Service and federal officials to investigate and “file charges that reflect the seriousness of the incident,” she said in a statement.
A representative for the USPS did not immediately return a request for comment.
Coley was awaiting arraignment Tuesday evening.