ST. LOIUS – Police are investigating a hate incident after four Syrian refugee teenagers were beaten while on a walk by a group of unidentified suspects.
On Tuesday, police say four young Syrian refugees were attacked on the 1100 block of Hodiamont, just blocks from their apartment complex.
According to an incident report, the victims were approached around 7 p.m. by four unknown suspects, who indicated that they wanted to fight. The teenage refugees — none older than 16 — were punched and kicked. One was later taken to a hospital to treat a leg injury.
Another Syrian boy, a 16-year-old, said he got a bump on the head when he was struck by a gun.
The teens live in an apartment complex occupied by over a dozen refugee families.
Families in the apartment complex told reporters that they are terrified to be living there. They were not warned about the conditions of the neighborhoods by the agencies that placed them in the apartment complex.
According to the River Front Times, the families have noticed that they were being watched by a group of young men. Bicycles started going missing, followed by car parts from the four vehicles shared by the refugee families. Gunshots erupted throughout the night.
“They felt like they were still in Syria again,” says Eman Saffaf, an intern with the St. Louis chapter of CAIR, the Council on American–Islamic Relations.
Yasser Sakroujeh, a former barber in Syria who now works on a hotel cleaning crew, said he’s regretted moving to the U.S.
“I would rather stay in a war-torn country,” he says through translation. “At least I know everyone there.”
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