NYPD: Suspects Savagely Attacked Elderly Man In Queens After Asking If He Was Muslim

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A brutal beating left a beloved grandfather in the hospital Friday night and police want to know if it was an act of hate.

The whole incident apparently started with a simple question and answer, but it ended with the victim bloody and bruised from head to toe. It happened just before 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 24 in Queens.

Ali Akmal laid in his hospital bed in critical condition with wounds and bruises covering most of his body.  The 72-year-old was savagely beaten after he went out for his early morning walk on 46 Avenue in Corona last Saturday.

They pretty much tried to kill him, with their hands, their own bare hands and maybe a bat, too. But they pretty much had the mentality that ‘Yeah we have to kill this person,’” the victim’s granddaughter told CBS 2′s Dick Brennan.

Akmal’s tongue was so badly swollen that he couldn’t talk for two days. When he finally could, he told police that when he first encountered the two men, they asked him, “are you Muslim or Hindu?”  He responded “I’m Muslim,” and that’s when they attacked.

“Just because we’re Muslim, just because we’re another religion or culture I don’t see why you have to beat that person up. They didn’t do anything to you, they didn’t hurt you,” the victim’s granddaughter said. The crime has been assigned to detectives with the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.