Police say man threatened to shoot Muslim woman's son on San Francisco playground

Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:19PM
San Francisco police are calling an incident at a downtown San Francisco playground a case of Islamophobia after they say a woman and her son were threatened last Friday.


SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco police are calling an incident at a downtown San Francisco playground a case of Islamophobia.

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Just as the sun set Friday a woman, wearing a hijab or head scarf, was playing with her son when she says Joshua Ruano suddenly walked up to them.

"The suspect approached the victim, threatened to shoot the son and the mother," said Grace Gatpandan of the San Francisco police. "So fearing for her safety, the mother grabbed her son and ran away."

Police found Ruano a few blocks away and arrested him on the spot for making threats with a hate crime enhancement.

Zahra Billoo is with the council on American Islamic relations. "I continue to be disappointed and sad but also angry that this is not acceptable," she said. "This is not the way we want our communities to be."

According to CAIR, there has been an uptick in reported hate crimes since right before the presidential election. Still, many parents weren't necessarily surprised to hear about the confrontation.

"People feel they have license to go and spout off hate speech or to attack people," said parent Bobbie Johnson. "Even an innocent person walking around minding their own business with their kids."

"It's extremely disturbing and I can't imagine being on the receiving end of that, my heart goes out to her," said parent Justine Badimon. "It's awful."

Most simply miss the days when playgrounds were considered a sacred, stress-free zone for families.
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