Alameda County prosecutors declined comment Thursday. The charges -- embedded below -- include one count of battery and one of violating civil rights.
The charging document says Slader "did unlawfully and by force and threat injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress and threaten Rasheed Albeshari in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right and privilege" -- practicing religion -- secured by the state and federal constitutions.
Original post (Dec. 9): A woman who threw coffee at a Muslim man who was praying with his friends and hit him with an umbrella at Lake Chabot Regional Park on Sunday could face criminal charges, the East Bay Regional Park District said today.
A report on the ugly incident in Castro Valley, captured on video, is being forwarded by the park district to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, said Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the park district.
A park officer who arrived on the scene is recommending misdemeanor battery charges against Denise Slader, an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Jones said. A spokesperson for CDCR said Slader is employed as a program technician in its Division of Adult Parole Operations. She has worked 10 years for CDCR, which is conducting its own investigation, CDCR said.
The incident, which Jones said occurred around 3 p.m. Sunday, was captured on video and posted on Facebook by Rasheed Albeshari, one of several friends who was praying. The video has since been reposted on YouTube.
The recording picks up with Slader haranguing the men, saying they are "being deceived by Satan."
"Your mind has been taken over, brainwashed," she continued. "And you have nothing but hate."
"Nothing but hate," she repeats.
At that point, a woman who appears to be a park employee intervenes, apparently calling Slader's actions inappropriate.
"It is inappropriate," Slader retorts. "For somebody to tape-record me, it is inappropriate."
"This lady was talking about my god," says one of the men. He tries to continue but is attacked by Slader. "Do not touch me!" he screams, before the video ends.
"We've gone there for months," Albeshari told the Bay Area News Group. He said the men pray often at the park. "We've spent a long time in that park, done our thing. Never, ever any problems."
Jones says Slader believes she is the victim in the case because she was videotaped by one of the men against her will. The district officer on the scene did not make an arrest, Jones said, because he did not witness the incident and because the situation "seemed to have dissolved."
According to the Arab American News:
Albeshari was waiting in a car for his three friends to finish their prayers when he (saw) a woman confront them. She had been walking on the sidewalk and appeared ruffled that the Muslim men were praying in the park. ... Albeshari went up to the local woman and began taping the confrontation on his cell phone.
“One of my friends was trying to tell her ‘We believe in Jesus. We love Jesus,’ " Albeshari said.