SALEM, Ore. -- Police say an Oregon man who attacked an employee at a Mediterranean restaurant last week yelled, “Arab, you need to leave.”
CBS affiliate KOIN reports the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. Police reportedly say 52-year-old Jason Kendall entered the Al-Aqsa restaurant in Salem Tuesday afternoon, and was asked to leave by the victim.
Kendall left but returned five minutes later, authorities say, yelling, “Get out of America!” and “Arab, you need to leave, a–hole!”
The employee said Kendall threw a plastic object at him before hitting him in the head with a metal pipe. Kendall was arrested, and allegedly told the arresting officer he saw a “Saddam Hussein-looking guy” and believed a woman in the restaurant was a slave. Kendall told police he went into the restaurant to tell her she was “free to leave.”
Kendall also allegedly said he saw an “evil totem” with Arabic writing on it that he threw at the victim, the station reports. Kendall said he thought the man had an ice pick hidden under a napkin so he defended himself by hitting the victim in the head with the pipe, according to police.
Kendall faces felony assault and unlawful use of a weapon charges, KOIN reports, along with one count of misdemeanor intimidation.