UPDATE – Thursday, 5/2/2-13, 10:22 a.m. ET:
WASHINGTON — Ed Dahlberg turned himself into Fairfax County police on Wednesday night, said spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.
He was charged with misdemeanor assault.
EARLIER – Wednesday, 5/1/2012, 11:36 a.m. ET:
WASHINGTON – An Iraq War veteran and Army reservist who drives a taxi says a passenger punched him and fractured his jaw after accusing him of being a terrorist because he is Muslim.
The passenger, Ed Dahlberg, of Clifton, Va., has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
Mohamed Salim tells The Washington Post he picked up Dahlberg around 2 a.m. Friday at the Country Club of Fairfax.
Salim says that during the ride, the discussion turned to Salim’s background. Salim says he became concerned about the way the conversation was going and recorded it on his cellphone.
At one point, Dahlberg asks Salim whether he’s Islamic, and then says most Muslims are terrorists. He repeatedly uses curse words during the conversation and demands that Salim denounce the 9/11 terrorists.
“If you’re a Muslim, you’re a (expletive) jihadist,” Dahlberg says. “You are just as bad as the rest of them.”
Dahlberg denies hitting Salim in a statement his attorney released.
The alleged punch is not caught on the cellphone camera, which shows a blur of motion and audio, with Salim asking Dahlberg why he’s punching him. Salim was later treated at a hospital for a fractured jaw.
The video also does not capture an alleged reference Salim says Dahlberg made to the Boston bombing.
Dahlberg’s attorney, Demetry Pikrallidas, tells the Post that Dahlberg did not assault Salim, but that his client wants to apologize to anyone offended by his remarks. He says Dahlberg had been drinking but was not intoxicated.
The Washington-based Council on American- Islamic Relations has asked Fairfax County prosecutors to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
Prosecutors say they will review the video from Salim’s phone.
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