A Pennsylvania man already awaiting trial has been charged with a hate crime for using anti-Muslim slurs and physically attacking another man while he was drunk at a Red Robin restaurant.
Jeffrey Burgess, a 54-year-old from Bethel Heights, would face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of targeting someone with violence based on their ethnicity or perceived ethnicity, violating the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
He told WTAE-TV before his arraignment Thursday that "it was the alcohol" and said he feels remorse for what happened. Authorities say Burgess was at a Red Robin restaurant in November when he began insulting a man sitting next to him.
Authorities say Burgess repeatedly elbowed Ankur Mehta in the head in the restaurant. Mehta is not Muslim.
Burgess faces state charges including ethnic intimidation and simple assault.
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