Tuesday September 18, 2012

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Police say a West Hartford man has been charged with hate crimes after allegedly threatening a woman because of her Muslim heritage.

Authorities say 68-year-old Michael Germain approached the woman as she was waiting for a prescription at a pharmacy, made racially-charged remarks and threatened to punch her.

After the woman left he allegedly told a technician he was upset Americans had been killed in Libya.

He was arrested Saturday and charged with second-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace in addition to hate crimes.

German told WVIT-TV it was a misunderstanding and said: "I think it will all be straightened out eventually."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday called for the FBI to consider federal charges against Germain.