Virginia police probe Muslim girl's killing as 'road rage' incident

Published: June 20, 2017
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Nabra Hassanen. PHOTO: TWITTER

Nabra Hassanen. PHOTO: TWITTER

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Virginia, charged with murder of a 17-year-old American Muslim girl is shown in this Fairfax County Police Dept. photo released in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., June 19, 2017.   Courtesy Fairfax County Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS Nabra Hassanen. PHOTO: TWITTER

WASHINGTON: A teenage Muslim girl killed by a bat-wielding motorist near a Virginia mosque was an apparent victim of “road rage” and her death is not being investigated as a hate crime, police said on Monday.

Nabra Hassanen, 17, was attacked early on Sunday in Sterling, Virginia, about 30 miles west of Washington, after attending late-night prayers for the Muslim holy month of Ramazan.

Muslim teen assaulted, killed after leaving US mosque

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, has been arrested and charged with murder in the incident that began with a road dispute with a boy on a bicycle who was among a group of teenagers that included Hassanen, Fairfax County police spokesperson Julie Parker said. “It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence,” she told a news conference.

Parker said there was no indication the attack near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque was motivated by race or religion. Police said there was no sign that Martinez used racial slurs during the attack.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Virginia, charged with murder of a 17-year-old American Muslim girl is shown in this Fairfax County Police Dept. photo released in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., June 19, 2017. Courtesy Fairfax County Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Virginia, charged with murder of a 17-year-old American Muslim girl is shown in this Fairfax County Police Dept. photo released in Fairfax, Virginia, US. PHOTO: REUTERS

Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, expressed solidarity with the Muslim center and said a prayer vigil would held on Wednesday at a high school. “With regard to this case, I am confident justice will be served,” she said at the news conference.

The attack took place about 3:40 a m as up to 15 teenagers who had attended prayer services at the mosque were returning from a fast-food restaurant, Parker said.

Some of the teenagers were in the road and Martinez began arguing with the boy on a bicycle as he was driving in his car, Parker said. Martinez chased the youths into a parking lot, emerged from his car with a baseball bat, and struck Hassanen, she said.

Hijab-wearing Muslim beaten ‘like an animal’ in US

According to Parker, he loaded Hassanen into his car and dumped her in a pond in neighbouring Loudoun County. A search team recovered the body on Sunday, and an autopsy showed she had suffered blunt force trauma to the upper body, she added.

The Washington Post reported that Hassanen and her friends were dressed in abayas, the robe-like dress worn by some Muslim women, prompting fears the victim was targeted because she was Muslim.

Police arrested Martinez about 90 minutes after the assault and a judge ordered that he remain jailed without bail, officials said. He has been assigned a public defender.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • syed ahmed
    Jun 22, 2017 - 4:34PM

    He is an abnoxious criminal and should face justice irrelevant if it’s road or hate rage. Un necessary loss of life of a young person is shame on humanity. I’m not trying to dilute the gravity of a heinous crime but Muslim women going to mosque at 4 a.m.in the morning is no an act of a Muslim prayer, may be buying srhrI.However her innocent life should not be snatched.by a road criminal.Recommend

  • syed ahmed
    Jun 22, 2017 - 4:41PM

    May Allah grant her highest reward after death and in Jannat. Ameen.Recommend

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