911 calls released in West Hartford hate crime case - WFSB 3 Connecticut

911 calls released in West Hartford hate crime case


Recently released 911 calls show why a Muslim woman called police after a West Hartford man threatened to hurt her this weekend.

"I am in Walgreens' West Hartford Bishop's Center. There's a guy who's harassing me and told me that he's gonna punch me," the woman told police.

On Saturday, an unidentified woman was in line to fill a prescription at the Walgreens on North Main Street. The pharmacy tech was having trouble with the woman's health insurance, which created a delay for customers.

West Hartford police said Michael John Germain, 68, of Mountain Road, made "rude, offensive and obnoxious comments for no reason."

"He said all kinds of languages, so I'm calling the police," the Muslim woman and veteran Hartford Hospital nurse said in the 911 calls.

After the woman's order was filled, Germain apologized to the tech for "making her job hard" and said he was upset "Americans got killed in the embassy," according to the arrest warrant.

"The way he was talking, like he's testifying this is what's happening in the world people are being killed for no reason and all that," the woman told Eyewitness News.

Germain, who told officers that he never threatened to hit the woman, was arrested at his home and admitted to getting into a verbal argument with an "Arab" woman and was "very upset about Americans dying overseas by them." Germain told police, "them" was "Muslims."

He was charged with breach of peace, threatening and received a hate crimes charge. Germain, who said the whole incident is a misunderstanding, has since been released on a $10,000 bond and was given a court date of Sept. 27.

The Council of American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, has seen an up-tick in the number of hate crimes against Muslims since the American embassy in Libya was attacked.

"I think I speak for most mainstream Muslims and what's going overseas and what's going on in the Middle East does not reflect the values Muslims in America, or anywhere else in the world for that matter," said Akrum Sheikh of CAIR.

CAIR has asked the FBI to consider federal charges against Germain.

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