Hooksett man accused of Manchester hijab grab a Bronze Star recipient, former Blackwater employeeBy MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
July 11. 2018 9:14AM
MANCHESTER — A Bronze Star recipient and one-time worker for the Blackwater private military organization is facing a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly yanking the hijab of a Muslim woman as she sat with co-workers at a city restaurant last month, according to police and online reports.
Police said Robert Carrigg, 45, of 2A Manor Drive, Hooksett, turned himself in to Manchester police shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday on a warrant for his arrest. The arrest followed tips that police received after releasing two images to the public.
"He turned himself in after police identified him and spoke with him," police spokesman Lt. Brian O'Keefe said in an email.
Police allege Carrigg pulled the head covering of Riman Douedari, 25, as she sat with co-workers on a Friday afternoon at Farm Bar and Grille on Elm Street.
Carrigg's lawyer, Tim Bush of Nashua, would not comment on the charges his client faces, but confirmed what Carrigg has posted on social media about his military service.
Carrigg was awarded a Bronze Star according to the LinkedIn profile, and his construction company has been certified as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business.
The Bronze Star is presented to United States Armed Forces personnel for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service.
A Facebook cover photo shows Carrigg wearing a military dress uniform while standing with family. His profile picture includes an insignia for the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
According to a 2007 post on the Providence Business News website, Carrigg was one of five members of the Rhode Island Army National Guard's 173rd Infantry Detachment to win a Bronze Star during a 2005 deployment in Iraq.
Carrigg, a sergeant, worked for Blackwater Security at the time the award was issued, according to the news site, which attributed the information to a news release from the Rhode Island Guard.
"He also personally led over 40 long-range surveillance missions while deployed. Of special note, he and his team were responsible for the apprehension of a suspected cell of Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) Anti-Iraq Forces through the application of offensive terrain denial operations along a stretch of terrain which had previously been plagued with IED/VBIED incidents."
LinkedIn said Carrigg is the owner/manager of Manchester-based Carrigg Commercial Builders, which is located on Sheffield Road.
His LinkedIn profile said he attended Greater Lowell Regional Vocational Technical School and is a member of the Kiwanis board of directors.
"I am responsible for what Carrigg Commercial Builders does or fails to do," he wrote on LinkedIn.
A hijab is a traditional headdress worn by many Muslim women. Douedari, an administrative assistant at Southern New Hampshire University, has posted on Facebook that she was shocked and suddenly froze when her hijab was pulled. The contact caused physical discomfort to Douedari's chin and head, police allege.
Douedari's co-workers confronted her assailant, who fled the restaurant. Police later were able to distribute a photograph taken on one of their phones.
Last week, the assistant manager of the Farm Bar called the act deplorable and said the restaurant had posted images of the assailant to its own social media networks.
Douedari has posted online that she has lived in Manchester for three years and the June incident was a first for her. She expressed gratitude for the support she received from her co-workers.