Woman Who Allegedly Threw Coffee at Muslims, Charged With Hate Crime, Put on Leave

A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employee has been placed on leave after she was caught on cellphone video yelling slurs and throwing coffee and an umbrella at Muslim men praying in a park.

Denis Slader was charged last Thursday with two misdemeanors: battery and violation of civil rights, a hate crime. She has worked at the Department of Corrections for 10 years as a program technician in parole.

Slader is accused of approaching Rasheed Albeshari and several friends Dec. 6 while the men were praying at Lake Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley. Cellphone video Albeshari recorded shows a woman, identified as Slader, making anti-Muslim remarks and calling Islam evil.

A park ranger is seen trying to diffuse the situation, telling the woman her comments are "inappropriate." The woman lunges toward Albeshari and appears to throw coffee at him. Prosecutors said she also threw an umbrella.

Department of Corrections spokesman Luis Patino said Friday that Slader was placed on "administrative time off effective immediately" after her arrest. He would not comment further or specify how long the time off would be.

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Patino would only say "discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated" and that the agency expects all "employees to treat everyone with dignity and respect both on and off the job."

Slader, who was released from custody, did not return phone calls seeking comment. She is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 7.

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Santa Clara issued a statement welcoming the hate crime charges brought against Slader — something that Northern California Civil Rights Coordinator Brice Hamack had formally urged. 

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