2 persons of interest in custody in burning of Muslim woman’s blouse in midtown

MIDTOWN, Manhattan — Two persons of interests are in custody in connection with the burning of a Muslim woman in midtown over the weekend, according to police sources.

They were taken into custody Thursday. Police say they recognized the teens from the surveillance video.

The attack happened last Saturday when a 35-year-old woman dressed in traditional Muslim garb was set on fire while she was standing outside a store on Fifth Avenue, police say.

The woman was walking down Fifth Avenue outside Valentino just before 9 p.m. when she says she felt something warm on her arm.

The woman saw her blouse was on fire, and frantically patted out the flames, police say. That's when she noticed a man standing near her with a lighter. She told police that the man did not speak to her and just walked away.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is trying to determine if it was motivated by bias toward Muslims.

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) condemned attack on the woman in the latest in a series of attacks on Muslims and urged New York’s mayor to add resources for the investigation of hate crimes.