The suspect who attacked a father and son in a fury of anti-Palestine slurs before tossing hot coffee at them in a Brooklyn playground earlier this month turned herself into police on Tuesday morning, the NYPD said.
According to authorities, the walls were closing in on 48-year-old Hadasa Bozakkaravani, after police had not only identified her but locals in the area near Edmonds Playground in Fort Greene had plastered her photo across walls and in storefronts in order to bring her to justice.
“A lot of investigative work went into this case to identify her. Some CrimeStopper tips, some good computer work in the area led us to a building that we believe she lived in and based on that we were able to get good identification,” Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said. “The whole neighborhood was blanketed with her pictures, numerous Crimestoppers tips.”
Bozakkaravani is accused of targeting Ashish Prashar and his 18-month-old son because she believed the Punjabi father was Palestinian.
“My son was playing with another boy who is about seven years old, and the boy was being really sweet to him. This woman came over and basically said: ‘Do you support Hamas? Do you know Hamas are terrorists? You and your son are terrorists, get away from my child!’” Prashar explained.
Police confirmed on Tuesday that Bozakkaravani is not the mother of the other child, with Prashar believing that she was a nanny hired to take care of the child. During the assault, Bozakkaravani allegedly threw her cellphone and a cup of hot coffee at the pair.
“I honestly couldn’t believe it was happening. And all this time I was trying to back away and keep my son behind me because I didn’t know what she was gonna do. I pulled my camera out eventually because I thought if you’re being filmed, you don’t want to be on the record doing something stupid. In fact, I made it worse,” Prashar said. “She hit me a few times and tried to grab my phone a few times.”
Police identified the suspect last week but said they had to continue their investigation in order to obtain probable cause to make the arrest.
“Once we identify somebody that doesn’t give us probable cause, we still have to get a proper identification through a procedure,” Chief Kenny said.
Bozakkaravani is charged with a hate crime, reckless endangerment, and aggravated harassment.