A woman in Boise, Idaho, is facing felony charges after police say she attacked a Jewish woman and stomped on her neck as part of a bizarre bid to convert her to Christianity.
According to local television channel KTVB, the woman, identified as 58-year-old Margurite Dawn Haragan, has been charged with two counts of malicious harassment in an attack police have labeled a hate crime.
Prosecutors say the incident started when Haragan showed up at the victim's home February 5. It's not clear how the two women know each other.
"The defendant was banging on the front window yelling at her that she better believe in Jesus and she was not going to leave until she did believe in Jesus," Ada County Prosecutor Dave Roscheck said, according to KTVB.
He added that the victim, identified in court only as "A.G.," opened her door to tell Haragan to leave and to write down her license plate number.
That's when the suspect slapped her in the face and dragged her to the ground by her hair, Roscheck said.
"The defendant began kicking the victim in the stomach and thigh area," he said. "During this time the defendant was screaming at the victim that she better accept Jesus or she would not let up."
Prosecutors say Haragan stepped onto A.G.'s neck as she lay on the ground, pressing down with her foot and pulling up on the woman's head and hair. Eventually, the woman said she would become a Christian in an attempt to placate her attacker and Haragan let her go, according to the prosecutor.
Court documents allege, however, that Haragan returned to the victim's home two days later, carving "death bin bond" into her mailbox and cutting up her mail.
Haragan was arrested Wednesday night on a felony warrant. In court Thursday, she told a judge she did not understand what she was being charged with, she did not want a public defender, and she would not hire her own lawyer.
Judge John Hawley decided to appoint the suspect a public defender anyway, the report said, and Roscheck asked the judge to set a high bond and order Haragan to stay away from the victim.
"The state is concerned for the safety of the victim if this bond is lowered, especially if the defendant was able to make bond," he said.
Hawley agreed, keeping the suspect's bond at $100,000 and issuing a no-contact order barring Haragan from talking to A.G. or going near her.
If convicted of malicious harassment, Haragan could face up to five years in prison for each count. A preliminary hearing has been set for February 26.
America has proven not to be immune from the skyrocketing global anti-Semitism, as several severe cases of violence targeting Jews have occurred in recent months.
Just last weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, some 30 homes were spray-painted with swastikas and anti-Semitic expressions.
In September, a yeshiva in the New Jersey town of Lakewood was broken into by a vandal who defaced the Jewish study hall with swastikas and other anti-Semitic hate symbols.
In early August, 60-year-old Rabbi Joseph Raksin hy''d was shot to death as he walked to a local synagogue in Miami, Florida. Reportedly Raksin was shot by two young African-American men who fled the scene after the murder