Woman Tried to Drown 3-Year-Old Girl After Making Racist Comments, Police Say


A woman in Texas was charged with attempted capital murder after she tried to drown a 3-year-old girl in an apartment complex pool after making racist comments, officials said.

Mustafaa Carroll, the executive director of the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said at a news conference on Saturday that the girl was attacked after a white woman made the comments to the girl’s mother, who was wearing a hijab, a head scarf worn by Muslim women.

Mr. Carroll called on national and state law enforcement officials to open a hate crime investigation into the attack, which took place on May 19 in Euless, Texas, a suburb of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Witnesses told detectives that the woman, Elizabeth Wolf, 42, had tried to drown a child and had argued with the child’s mother, the Euless Police Department said in a news release.

Ms. Wolf was initially charged with public intoxication as she tried to leave the area, the police said. The Tarrant County criminal district attorney’s office filed charges of attempted capital murder and injury to a child on May 23, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Ms. Wolf could not be immediately reached for comment on Sunday, and it was not clear if she had a lawyer. She was released on bail a day after she was arrested in May, according to CAIR-Texas.

A resident of the apartment complex, Emma Aziz, told Fox 4 that she had been at the pool and heard the mother shouting, “She’s killing my baby!” Ms. Aziz said she called a man to help the girl while another person called 911.

The child’s mother, who has not been publicly named, told the police that Ms. Wolf had made comments about her not being an American and other racist statements before the attack.

She said Ms. Wolf had also tried to grab her 6-year-old son, but he pulled away, causing a scratch on his finger, the police said. The girl had been coughing up water and yelling for help in the pool, the police said. Medics evaluated both children, who were medically cleared, the police said.

At a news conference on Saturday, Mr. Carroll said that the Council on American-Islamic Relations was referring to the mother as Mrs. H, because she did not want to be publicly identified.

“We are American citizens, originally from Palestine, and I don’t know where to go to feel safe with my kids,” the mother said in a statement.

Mrs. H said that she had been wearing a hijab and modest swimwear while watching her children in the shallow end of a pool at the apartment complex where the family lives, when a white woman entered the pool area and made “racist interrogations” toward her.

The woman then jumped into the pool, grabbed the children and tried to drown them in the deep end of the pool, Mrs. H said. The mother said she jumped into the pool to try to save her children, and the woman snatched off her head scarf and kicked at her.

She said her daughter had been traumatized by the attack, and she now runs and hides when the apartment door is opened.

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