Woman accused of attacking Muslim men praying in East Bay park pleads not guilty

Denise Slader is accused of attacking Rasheed Albeshari and his friends at Lake Chabot Park on Sunday, December 6, 2015. (KGO-TV)

A woman who was caught on video shouting insults at Muslim men praying in Lake Chabot Regional Park last month pleaded not guilty Thursday to two misdemeanor counts she faces for the incident.

WATCH VIDEO: Woman accused of attacking Muslims praying in East Bay park
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A woman who allegedly attacked a group of Muslim men praying at Lake Chabot Regional Park in the East Bay may face misdemeanor battery or a hate crime.

Denise Slader, 50, is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward on February 26 for a pretrial hearing on charges of
battery in a park and violating the civil rights of the two alleged victims in the December 6 incident.

Judge Andrew Steckler also set an April 4 trial date for Slader, who worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation but has been placed on leave pending the results of an internal investigation.

Prosecutor Tim Wellman asked Steckler to set $10,000 bail for Slader because that's the bail schedule for the two offenses she faces, but Steckler declined to set bail and allowed her to remain free on her own recognizance.

According to East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones, Slader approached the two men as they were praying by the volleyball courts near the park entrance at about 3 p.m. on Dec. 6.

Slader then got into a conversation with the men that escalated into an argument, eventually telling them, "Your God is Satan" and "the Koran is evil," Jones said.

One of the men started recording her and later posted the video on the Internet.

According to the video, Slader told the men, "The people you torture are going to be in heaven. You are very deceived by Satan. Your mind has been taken over, brainwashed, and you've got nothing but hate."

A park ranger tried to intervene and told Slater that she was being inappropriate, but Slader responded that it was inappropriate for the man to tape her.

Slader later allegedly attacked the man with her umbrella and threw coffee at him.

At a hearing last week, a judge ordered Slader to stay away from the man and to stay away from the park.

WATCH VIDEO: Mystery Muslim woman's act of kindness in Santa Clara remembered
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As the San Bernardino shooting continues to generate a lot of backlash and prejudice against Muslims, one mystery Muslim woman is being remembered for her act of kindness at a Specialty's in Santa Clara.

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newscrimeattackviolencehate crimehate crime investigationmuslimsislamreligionalameda countycourtcourt caseCastro Valley
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