Nashville man indicted on hate crime charge, lying to FBI in attack of Muslim teens
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Nashville man has been indicted on hate crime charges stemming from alleged threats made to two Muslim teens on their way home from school.
The incident originally took place in Oct. 2017 when 32-year-old Christopher Beckham spotted the girls -wearing hijabs at the time- and started harassing them and telling them to “go back to their country.”
Beckham then attacked the girls' father, swinging a knife and punching at the man. At the time of his arrest, Metro Police said he continued to make racist comments about the victims in the back of the patrol car.
Bekham is also facing charges of lying to FBI agents following his arrest. According to the indictment, in March 2018 he lied to agents, telling them he saw the girls trying to break into cars; that he never swung a knife at their father; and that, after he pulled out his knife, the girls yelled “Allahu Akbar!,” and then either one or both of them hit him on the back of the head.
Beckham could face up to 10 years in prison on the hate crime charge, three years probation, and a fine of up to $250,000.
He also faces up to 5 years in prison, 3 years probation, and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of lying to the FBI.