Hate crime suspect: ‘Arab, you need to leave’

He was charged with assault, unlawful use of a weapon and intimidation

Jason Kendall was arrested in Marion County on March 8, 2017 after allegedly attacking a man working at a Middle Eastern restaurant. (MCSO)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A 52-year-old man is being accused of a hate crime after allegedly attacking a restaurant employee with a metal pipe and calling him a terrorist.

Jason Kendall yelled and screamed at the employee inside Al-Aqsa Restaurant on State Street in Salem, police said. The victim reportedly asked Kendall to leave. He did, but came back 5 minutes later yelling, “Get out of America!” and “Arab, you need to leave, a–hole!”

The Al-Aqsa Restaurant on State Street in Salem in a 2013 photo from their Facebook page, seen March 10, 2017
The Al-Aqsa Restaurant on State Street in Salem in a 2013 photo from their Facebook page, seen March 10, 2017

The employee told police Kendall threw a plastic object and hit him in the head, then came at him with a metal pipe and hit the victim in the head. The victim told police it left a small bump on his head.

Kendall told the arresting officer he saw a “Saddam Hussein-looking guy” and believed a woman in the restaurant was a slave. Kendall told police he went into the restaurant to tell her she was “free to leave.”

Kendall also said he saw an “evil totem” with Arabic writing on it that he threw at the employee/victim. Kendall told police he thought the man had an ice pick hidden under a napkin so he defended himself by hitting the victim in the head with the pipe.

The incident is being considered a hate crime. Kendall faces felony assault and unlawful use of a weapon charges, plus a count of misdemeanor intimidation.