‘Not OK:’ North Texas community denounces alleged attempted murder of 2 Palestinian children

Community leaders came together on Saturday to denounce the alleged hate-motivated attempted murder of two children in Euless last month.

District 92 Rep. Salman Bhojani, whose district includes part of Euless, said hate has no place anywhere in Texas.

“The trauma and pain this has caused for the immigrant community broadly and Muslim community more specifically cannot be understated,” Bhojani said at a news conference Saturday.

“Hate against one community is hate against all of us, and we can’t sit around and let crimes like these become the norm in our great state of Texas.”

On May 19, a Palestinian mother watching her two young children play in the shallow end of the swimming pool at a Euless apartment complex was approached by a white woman who asked where she was from, according to witnesses and police.

The mother was wearing a hijab and speaking Arabic to her children, according to a news release from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Witnesses told police and CAIR that the woman who approached the family was making racist comments.

The mother, known as Mrs. H in the CAIR news release to protect her identity, said the woman jumped into the pool and pulled her two children to the deep end where she tried to drown them.

Euless police identified the suspect as 42-year-old Elizabeth Wolf in a news release on Friday. Wolf attempted to grab the 6-year-old boy, but he managed to pull away, police said. The mother went to help her son, but Wolf then grabbed the 3-year-old girl and forced her underwater.

The mother told CAIR that the suspect “snatched” the hijab off her head and used it to beat her. The woman also kicked Mrs. H in order to keep her away while she held the 3-year-old’s head underwater.

A man helped Mrs. H rescue her daughter from the attacker, according to the release from CAIR. As Wolf was being handcuffed by police, she allegedly shouted to a witness who was with Mrs. H, “Tell her I will kill her, and I will kill her whole family.”

Witnesses told police that Wolf was intoxicated when she attacked the mother and her children. She was initially arrested on a charge of public intoxication, according to police.

Bhojani praised the actions of the man who rushed to help the mother and children and those who called police.

“Neighbors helping neighbors. That’s the Texas I know,” he said.

Mustafaa Carroll, executive director for the Texas chapter of CAIR, said said they chose to wait before making the incident public because of the trauma to the family. According to Carroll, they have been “torn apart” emotionally.

“They are afraid to be seen in public,” Carroll said at the news conference. “They are really struggling a lot with the children.”

The family didn’t attend the news conference, but the mother issued a statement on Friday through CAIR. She said her daughter was left “traumatized” by the incident.

“I don’t know where to go to feel safe with my kids,” the mother said. “My country is facing a war, and we are facing that hate here.”

CAIR is calling for a hate-crime probe into the case.

Bhojani said he’s been in touch with Euless police and was told they let judicial authorities know the woman’s actions should be prosecuted as a hate crime. The ultimate decision on how to prosecute the case is up to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.

Wolf is charged with attempted capital murder and injury to a child, according to court records. She bonded out of jail shortly after her arrest.

Other North Texas leaders and residents also attended the news conference to show solidarity with the family and the Muslim community.

“It’s very bad — I’m appalled by what has happened,” said Neeraj Bajracharya, vice president of the Nepalese Buddhist Association of Texas.

Euless resident Aileen Mokuria saw the story on Saturday morning on Instagram and wanted to help. She called a community activist, who suggested she attend the news conference.

“I just want to be able to support the family and also make sure that we’re all loud and clear that this behavior is not OK,” Mokuria said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family. The father has had to take time off work to accompany his wife and children on appointments and errands.

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