Police investigating confrontation at popular public park near Albany

Albany Capital Region

COLONIE, N.Y. (via NEWS10) — A man claims he and his family were the target of disparaging and life-threatening remarks based on his Muslim faith, and police are investigating it as a hate crime.

For Mohamed Benantar, a fun outing earlier this week at The Crossings, a well-known public space in the Albany suburb of Colonie, quickly turned into a terrifying ordeal.

The video, shared by Benantar, shows a man shouting racist comments at his young nephews. Benantar said he felt threatened when he went to approach the man.

Benantar claims the man said, “You came here to die. You’re going to die.”

In an update Wednesday morning, police say they were able to identify and speak with the man in the video. Police say the man is not a law enforcement officer, but is instead an officer in the military.

Police say they have also spoken with the victim and several of his family members and have determined that probable cause for arrest does not currently exist. The investigation continues.

The events left the family scared. They did not want their voice or face on camera. Benantar said that though he said people have made racist comments to him in the past, it’s the threat that made him call 911.

Benantar said all he wants is an apology from the man to his family, though the man in the video could face a harassment charge.

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