Woman accused of trying to drown 3-year-old; advocacy group calls incident hate crime

Elizabeth Wolf

EULESS, Texas — A Texas woman is accused of trying to drown a 3-year-old girl last month, and a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is asking state and federal authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

According to the Euless Police Department, Elizabeth Wolf, 42, of Euless, was charged with attempted capital murder and injury of a child stemming from a May 19 at an apartment complex, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Euless is located halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth in the Metroplex area of North Texas.

Police said the attack occurred at a swimming pool at the apartment complex in Euless, and Wolf was originally arrested for public intoxication, according to KTVT.

Wolf allegedly approached the mother of the victim and asked “where she was from” and whether the two children playing at the pool were hers, KDFW-TV reported.

Witnesses told police that Wolf got into a fight with the 32-year-old woman, who was wearing a hijab and modest swimwear at the time, according to KTVT.

“Wolf tried to grab (the mother’s) 6-year-old son, but he pulled away from her grasp, which caused a scratch on his finger,” Euless police said in a statement on Friday. “The mother began helping her son when Wolf grabbed her 3-year-old daughter and forced her underwater. The mother was able to pull her daughter from the water. Her daughter had been yelling for help and was coughing up water.”

Police said witnesses stepped in to help the woman recover her children, KTVT reported.

The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime, the Star-Telegram reported.

Officials with the organization said that Wolf allegedly took the woman’s hijab from her head and used it to beat her while trying to keep her away and forcing the 3-year-old child’s head underwater, according to the newspaper.

According to court records, Tarrant County prosecutors filed the additional charges of attempted capital murder and injury to a child on May 23, the Star-Telegram reported.

According to a news release, CAIR alleged that Wolf shouted at a witness who was at the pool with the woman, the newspaper reported.

“Tell her I will kill her, and I will kill her whole family,” CAIR stated in the release.

According to CAIR’s Austin operations manager, Shaimaa Zayan, Wolf posted bail the day after she was arrested, the Star-Telegram reported.

“We are seeing a new level of bigotry here where a person deeply believes they get to decide, based on religion, spoken language, and country of origin, whose kids deserve to stay alive and whose don’t,” Zayan said. “We ask for hate-crime probe, a higher bail bond, and an open conversation with officials to address this alarming increase in Islamophobia, anti-Arab, and anti-Palestinian sentiment.”

Mustafaa Carroll, CAIR-Texas’ executive director, read a statement from the family of the victims during a news conference on Saturday, KDFW reported.

“We are American citizens, originally from Palestine, and I don’t know where to go to feel safe with my kids. My country is facing a war, and we are facing that hate here,” the children’s mother said. “My daughter is traumatized; whenever I open the apartment door, she runs away and hides, telling me she is afraid the lady will come and immerse her head in the water again.”

Comments on this article