Police Disclose Details of Muslim Teen's Murder
They say it was road rage, not a hate crime
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2017 1:21 AM CDT
This image provided by the Hassanen family shows Nabra Hassanen in Fairfax, Va.   (Courtesy Hassanen Family via AP)
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(Newser) – The murder of a Muslim teenager in Virginia appears to have been a "road rage incident," not a hate crime, police say—although 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen's relatives do not agree. Police say Nabra was among a group of around 15 teens who became involved in a dispute with driver Darwin Martinez Torres after going out to eat during a break in Ramadan prayers early Sunday, BuzzFeed reports. They say Torres chased the group after arguing with a boy on a bike. When he caught up with the group in a parking lot, he allegedly hit Nabra with a baseball bat before kidnapping her in his car, police say. Her body was found in a pond near the 22-year-old construction worker's apartment building.

Fairfax County police say there was "no indication of any racial slurs" or any other sign the attack was motivated by race or religion, the Guardian reports. But Nabra and other girls from the mosque were in Muslim dress—which she reportedly tripped over while fleeing Torres—and her father believes the murder was a hate crime. "He killed her because she's a Muslim," he tells the Washington Post. "Why was he running behind the kids wearing Islamic clothes with a baseball stick? Why, when my daughter fell down, why did he hit her? For what? We don't know this guy. He doesn't know us." Nabra's mother says she was a timid girl who didn't argue with her sisters, let alone strangers on the street.

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