Muslim girl killed in Virginia; police blame "road rage"

Vincent Carr
June 20, 2017

Police in Virginia on Monday blamed road rage for the killing of a teenage Muslim girl who was allegedly attacked by a driver while walking with friends to her mosque between Ramadan prayers this weekend.

While the episode has shaken the local Muslim community, Fairfax police say they are not investigating the girl's killing as a hate crime.

Hassanen's mother, Sawsan Gazzar, reportedly told the Washington Post that Nabra was beaten with a metal bat.

Police say 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen died of blunt force trauma to the upper body after 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres attacked her with a baseball bat in a Washington suburb. Her body was found the following afternoon in a pond near Martinez Torres' home. Torres was arraigned Monday in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and ordered held without bail pending a July 19 court appearance.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, was taken into custody as a suspect in the case and subsequently charged with murder, Wright said. "It appears the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence", Parker said.

At around 3pm, the remains of a female believed to be the teen victim were found in a pond, said the police. A baseball bat was also recovered from the area.

"Our investigation at this point in no way indicates the victim was targeted because of her race or religion", a statement said.

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Bustle reports that while this may not be a hate crime, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups did spike in 2016 to 101, about triple the number the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded in 2015.

The chief medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death and confirm the identity of the victim, although police said they believe the corpse to be that of the missing girl. Police said they arrested Torres after a search.

The Washington Post reported that a group of four or five teenagers including Nabra had visited a fast-food restaurant to have a late-night meal - Muslims are now observing the holy month of Ramadan, when they fast from dawn to sunset.

"I was definitely very anxious about having them be outside of the mosque unattended", said Mahmood.

Shoyeb Hassan, co-chair of ADAMS, told the Postthat during the last 10 days of Ramadan, "the mosque has extra prayers at midnight and 2 a.m., and members frequently go to McDonald's or the 24-hour IHOP to eat before they start their fast at sunrise, as Nabra and her friends were doing". Her friends sought help at ADAMS, the mosque said in a statement.

Patrol officers were notified of the incident and began to investigate. She tells the Post a detective told her that during the fateful encounter, Nabra tripped over the long garment and fell. "As a father of a 17-year-old myself, I can't think of anything worse than confronting that on this particular day", Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman said at the news conference.

Other reports by BadHub

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