Oregon man Frederick Nolan Sorrell cried Monday after his arraignment for allegedly harassing a Muslim couple in Portland. He told KOIN that the woman’s burka scared him.
“I never seen a burka before here in Portland,” the 49-year-old said, referring to the full-body covering. He claimed he doesn’t hate Muslims, and that he would’ve done the same thing had he seen ISIS, “Antifa,” or “the KKK with their white hoods.”
Sorrell faces three counts of second-degree intimidation, Oregon’s hate crime statute, for the May 29 incident. He allegedly drove next to an African-American Muslim couple for 20 blocks, tried to ram into their vehicle several times, and told the woman to take off her “f–king burka, this is America, go back to your f–king country,” according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He allegedly put his hand in the shape of a handgun, and acted like he was pulling the trigger.
In the KOIN interview, he denied making the gun with his hand. Sorrell said he gestures a lot when he talks, and claimed to own no guns.
“My ignorance and my stupidity is why I opened my mouth and I shouldn’t have,” he said, saying he knew little about Islam.
His criminal record includes convictions for rape and harassment by telephone. He pled not guilty to the intimidation charges on Monday, and is scheduled for a court appearance in August. If found responsible, he could spend a year in jail.
In another bias incident, Portland is still reeling after local Jeremy Christian allegedly killed two men who stood up to him after he harassed teen girls he believed to be Muslim.
[Screengrab via KOIN]