Yasmin Seweid, an 18 year-old college students, was charged with filing a false report based on false statements to authorities that three men called her a terrorist and chanted “Donald Trump” while she was riding a New York City subway. Seweid alleged that when she moved to the other end of the train, one of the men followed her and tried to pull off her hajib.
As John Sexton notes, Seweid’s “traumatic train ride” became a talking point for the anti-Trump media. It fit the narrative that Trump’s election has produced a rash of hate crimes. See Slate’s initial coverage, for example.
The New York City police department reportedly spent significant resources trying to verify Seweid’s story. It was unable to find any witnesses to the incident or any video that corroborated her story.
Finally, Seweid recanted. She said she made up the tale to get attention because she was having issues with her family at home.
After reporting the fake incident, Seweid went missing for several days. Her father filed a missing persons report. She was found at a friend’s house.
Seweid’s father speculated that his daughter made up the story because she was late returning home. “Maybe she was afraid that night, she was running late,” he explained.
One suspects that Seweid won’t be the last to blame Donald Trump for what turns out to be trouble with daddy.
How much trouble is Seweid in with the police? Possibly, more than a little. A NYPD source explained that given the amount of time detectives spent chasing the phony story, and how politically charged the allegation was, police and prosecutors felt compelled to charge her. To make matters worse, they reportedly gave her numerous opportunities to come clean, but she repeatedly refused to tell the truth for weeks.
The left is determined not to “normalize” Trump. But one benefit of normalization would be a diminution of abnormal behavior like that exhibited by Seweid. Let’s hope the mass freakout over Trump’s victory subsides in the coming months.