A man injured during an attack outside a North Texas mosque Monday night may not have been targeted over his religion or ethnicity, according to Richardson police.
The victim, whose name has not been released, was leaving a 10:15 p.m. prayer service at the Islamic Association of North Texas on Abrams Road when two men attacked him.[[302540151,L]]
Police said the men pushed him down and started kicking him, before other members of the mosque were able to intervene. The attackers said nothing before beating the man and did not try to take his wallet or car keys, police said.
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On Tuesday, an attorney for the mosque said the attack happened very quickly and in dark area of the back parking lot.
“It was violent,” said Khalid Hamideh. “He was struck in the head multiple times with fists.”
In a press release late Tuesday afternoon, police said they had follow up interviews with the 59-year-old victim and, “he has given investigators reason to believe and he is of the opinion that he was likely targeted for reasons other than his religion or ethnicity.”
Earlier in the day the National Council on American-Islamic Affairs called for the FBI to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
Mosque members said the timing of the attack was suspicious, coming just a day after the shootings in Garland, but called for a thorough local investigation first.
“I think at this point it may be premature to ask for that,” said Hamideh. “I think we need to wait and let the good folks at Richardson, who are very capable, look into it.”
Witnesses told police of the attackers is black, about six-feet, one-inch tall, “chubby” and was wearing a black shirt. The second man was also black, had short hair and was wearing a black shirt and tan shorts, witnesses said.
Richardson police said they are consulting with the FBI on the case. There have been no arrests.
Security at mosques across North Texas have been increased since Sunday’s shooting in Garland.
NBC 5's Josh Ault and Katy Blakey contributed to this report.