Internet InfoMedia former california rideshare driver punched rider after thinking man was jewish or israeli doj says

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A former California rideshare driver is facing a federal hate crime charge for allegedly assaulting a rider he thought was Jewish or Israeli back in October.

The Department of Justice said in a news release that Csaba John Csukás, 39, was arrested on Wednesday after assaulting a rider he was set to pick up at the San Francisco International Airport.

Csukás allegedly asked the victim whether he was Jewish or Israeli and said he would not transport a Jewish or Israeli person before punching the victim in the face, the DOJ said.

The incident came a couple of weeks after Hamas terrorists attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7.

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Exterior view of San Francisco International Airport. SFO is one of the busiest airports in US.

The former rideshare driver allegedly punched the victim at San Francisco International Airport on Oct. 26, 2023. (iStock)

Officials condemned the attacks, saying that customers should be “able to ride without being profiled.”

“When taking public transportation – whether a taxi, bus, or ride share(sic) – customers should be able to ride without being profiled, or worse yet attacked, because of their nationality or religion by drivers,” U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey for the Northern District of California said. “We will prosecute any ride-share(sic) driver who assaults a passenger in such hate-fueled violence.”

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Internet InfoMedia AP19289701544092

Csukás, a former rideshare driver, is charged with a federal hate crime after the October 2023 incident with a customer at the San Francisco airport. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Csukás made his first court appearance and was charged with “committing a federal hate crime which prohibits, among other things, causing bodily injury because of the actual or perceived religion or national origin of a person in circumstances affecting interstate commerce.”

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If convicted, Csukás could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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