South St. Louis community raising money for African refugee beaten on Labor Day

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ST. LOUIS – Disbelief. That’s how Ruthie Vincill felt after hearing one of her neighbors – an African refugee – was brutally beaten by seven people in front of her house.

“I was very surprised,” neighbor Ruthie Vincill said. “It’s extremely uncharacteristic of what I’ve experienced over the last 5 years!”

The attack happened in the 3700 block of Bamberger in Tower Grove South on Labor Day.

“We have partners, we have married people, we have single individuals, we have young, and we have refugees who live on our streets, and so when this happened it was really, really sad,” she said. “It grieves me.”

Since the incident, Police have arrested four juveniles and charged 22-year-old Abrianna Gibson with third-degree assault. Authorities are still looking for an 18-year-old male and an unknown suspect.

In an attempt to show the victim and her family how much they mean to the community, neighbors have donated almost $3,000 for her medical bill.

“It grieves our community and I think that’s part of the reason we’ve responded in the way that we have,” she said.

Kelsey Kettmann, who just moved into the block two years ago, said this incident brought the community together more than it has torn them apart.

“This is not who we are,” Kettmann said. “This is not what we do. We are bigger, we are stronger, and we can help.”

A fundraiser and a silent auction will be help for the victim on September 16 at Ryder’s in Tower Grove South.

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