A Brooklyn teen was brutally beaten outside a mosque early Sunday, but police don't believe it was a hate crime.
The advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations says the 16-year-old victim was taking a break from late night prayers outside the Muslim Community Center on 3rd Avenue and 53rd Street when he was assaulted.
He was punched, thrown to the ground, kicked in the face and stomped, according to CAIR.
Mohamed Bahe of the Muslim Community Center said the teen heard his attacker saying "You f------ terrorist" and cursing while being punched.
But police say there is no evidence the suspect hurled any slurs and there's no indication of any hate crime. According to police, the teen and another 17-year-old boy were riding their bikes in the area of the Muslim Center, and the 16 year old was approached by someone who accused him of harassing his girlfriend.
Surveillance video shows the suspect punching the victim, knocking him off his bike, and then beating him on the ground. When the 17-year-old friend came to his aid, he was also attacked.
Some of the mosque's own members agreed with police's findings that there was no hate crime.
"I believe the motive was quite simple," said Ali Anwar. "The guy saw someone talking to his girl, he got upset and reacted irrationally."
Anwar said he's seen the whole video, not just the portion showing the teen and his friend being attacked. He said a woman in the car parked along 53rd Street called to the young men on their bikes after leaving a late-night prayer service.
"They were conversating with her twice -- once at the passenger side, once in the back," he said.
There's no audio on the surveillance video but police said the woman claims the teens harassed her for about 40 minutes, calling her a hooker and trying to open the car door. That's when she called her boyfriend, seen in the video attacking the teens.
Regardless of the motivation, police say they're actively looking for the violent suspect.
The 16 year old sustained a concussion, cuts, bruises and severe swelling to his eye, head and face. He remains at Lutheran Hospital for treatement. His friend suffered a black eye.