An 18-year-old college student who claimed she was verbally and physically harassed by a group of white, male Trump supporters earlier this month has been arrested and charged with filing a false report. NBC New York reports:
Yasmin Seweid, 18, was charged with filing a false report after she told authorities three men called her a terrorist and chanted “Donald Trump” at her aboard the 23rd Street 4/5/6 subway station on Dec. 1.
DNAinfo is reporting Seweid has admitted to making up the vivid account of harassment:
Investigators who spent significant NYPD resources trying to verify her story were unable to find any witnesses to the incident or video that could corroborate her story, sources said.
Seweid finally recanted Tuesday, saying she misguidedly made up the tale to get attention because she was having issues with her family at home.
The family issues also became part of the story when, a week after she claimed to have been harassed, Seweid disappeared from home. Her disappearance was widely reported as was her reappearance at home two days later.
Seweid claimed the attack took place on the subway December 1st. She said “three white racists” called her a terrorist and tried to pull off her hijab while other passengers stood by and did nothing. The three harassers were said to have repeatedly used Trump’s name during the attack. “Trump America is real and I witnessed it first hand last night,” Seweid wrote in a Facebook post describing the encounter published the next day. Here is a screenshot of her original post on the topic:
Seweid’s story was picked up by the media as one more example of a boom in hate attacks since Trump’s election. The coverage at Slate was typical:
“I heard them talk, but I had my headphones in, I wasn’t really listening, I had a long day. And they came closer and I distinctly heard them saying, ‘Donald Trump,’ ” she told the local CBS affiliate. Although there have been a spate of racist incidents across the United States since the election, this one was particularly shocking because it happened in New York and it seem [sic] no one tried to step in to help Seweid.
Seweid also told the story to a couple of local news outlets. The level of detail she offers is pretty striking in light of her arrest. “I looked at people watch me and they just looked away,” she told ABC 7 New York. “That was the part that really hurt,” she added. “Yeah it sucks they’re Donald Trump supporters, you know, it happens, but I just never expected no one to just stand up and say ‘hey guys, cut it out.'”