St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has alerted the FBI to this case. He does not believe there is a systemic problem with Bosnians being targeted for hate crimes although some Bosnians feel differently.
It happened around 5:30 Friday morning in the 4600 block of Landsdown. Police say a 26 year old woman was stopped by three armed African-American men. They ordered her out of her vehicle. She refused and they then pulled her out of her car. She hit her head. They kicked her and robbed her and damaged her vehicle. They called her a Bosnian slur.
Chief Dotson says, “They threatened to do harm to her because she was Bosnian. The fact pattern indicates that whether it was targeted because she was Bosnian or once they found out she was Bosnian the crime continued and accelerated. I was very concerned about it so we’re investigating it as a hate crime.”
The victim’s parents spoke with FOX 2 about the incident, their 20 year old son acted as a translator. The mother is very upset by what happened to her daughter.
The victim’s brother translated, “She is afraid for her family, for her family’s safety. She is so afraid for her family safety. She doesn’t feel well too since my niece to school.”
Just days ago, a Bosnian man was killed by four men who beat him to death with hammers. Three suspects were arrested.
The Bosnian community felt that was a hate crime but authorities said there was no evidence to support that belief. Now a Bosnian woman is beaten and robbed and it is being looked at as a hate crime.
The victim’s family came to the United States to escape the war in Bosnia and to seek the American dream, but what happened to their loved one has shattered that dream.
“My dad he is more frightened on what has happened today than the war in Bosnia because you don`t know who is a bad guy and who is good.”
Police have stepped up patrols in the Bosnian community. It’s believed the woman will survive the attack.