ABC 7: CAIR-Chicago calls for hate crime charges in downstate slashing
December 8, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for federal hate crime charges to be filed against a downstate man after a brutal attack.
Twenty-three-year-old Joshua Scaggs is being held on $500,000 bond after he allegedly slashed the throat of a University of Illinois law school professor.
A witness tells police both the suspect and victim were seated in the waiting area of a train station in Champaign when the suspect jumped up and shouted "this is my country" and attacked the victim.
"It's something that we must take very seriously," said CAIR-Chicago executive director Ahmed M. Rehab. "CAIR-Chicago is very disturbed by this news. The Muslim community is disturbed. People of conscience are disturbed. We've called police to investigate it, and to prosecute it as a hate crime, because that's what it is."
An assistant state's attorney says he decided not to charge Scaggs with a hate crime because the other charges have stiffer penalties.
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