A Muslim woman says she had to be escorted to her car by wait staff after she was intimidated by members of a biker gang known as the "Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood" on Stillwater's Main Street this weekend.
Sophia Rashid, of Minneapolis, described her encounter with the gang, described by the ADL as a white supremacist group based mainly in Minnesota and Kentucky, in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
She says she was at Leo's Grill & Malt Shop with her 4-year-old, and she was wearing a hijab when she noticed a number of small groups of men wearing "Aryan Cowboys" jackets.
In her post, which has been shared 16,000 times, she claims the men were locking eyes with her and making motions towards her.
She was helped by staff at Leo's, saying her server "snapped into action, recognizing the danger of the situation," and called on her coworkers to walk Rashid and her daughter to her car.
As she was being escorted on Main Street, she said several of the men crossed the street in her direction, where she said they began making comments towards her as they approached. She took several pictures of them as they neared her.
Rather than walk the three blocks to her vehicle, not feeling safe as more men wearing biker jackets showed up, Rashid says the Leo's workers took her to Hotel Lora, where she called the police and was later escorted to her vehicle by an officer.
Mayor 'saddened and disturbed' by report
Stillwater Police Department is investigating Rashid's complaint for possible criminal conduct, with Police Chief John Gannaway telling the Pioneer Press that the city is a popular spot for motorcyclists, and occasionally biker gang members.
Gannaway told the newspaper some gangs wear insignias that are offensive to others, and their activities are monitored by police when they're in town.
Mayor Ted Kozlowski meanwhile has said he is "saddened and disturbed" that Rashid and her daughter "didn't feel safe in our town."
"We welcome everyone here and do not abide racism or discrimination of any sort. I've reached out to Sophia to hear more about her experience and to assure her that she and her family are welcome here," he added.
"I've also reached out to my Chief of Police, County Attorney & County Sheriff. They are currently investigating the incident and I hope to know more soon including what action can be taken. I love this town and as Mayor I want everyone to feel safe in our community especially as the diversity of our residents and visitors continues to grow."
Rashid paid tribute to the teenage staff at Leo's, who offered protection to her and her daughter.