Last Updated on February 26, 2020
A woman who was brutally beaten by her Somali teen neighbor says she was failed by the system after her aggressor was released for having an IQ of 49.
ABC affiliate First Coast News reported about the violent assault that left Alicia Clarke with a broken nose, covered in blood and bruises.
Clarke says that she had just gone for a run around the block to find that her iPhone and shoes were missing.
Using an app to track down her phone, she discovered that it was on the property grid. She said, “I open my back door to call it and I hear it in my neighbor’s backyard behind me.”
As she tried to recover her belongings, she jumped over the suspect’s fence at which point a neighbor, who had seen the robbery, told the Somali teen that they were calling the police.
When she got into the neighbor’s garden, she was tackled to the ground by the teen, who was identified by Clarke’s sister as “Hassan,” who began pulling her hair and kicking her.
He left momentarily to grab a weapon which turned out to be a metal rod to continue the brutal assault, where he stabbed her in the head and face.
In the meantime, Clarke called the police on her work phone.
Speaking with 5 On Your Side, she recalled, “I am on the phone with St. Louis police dispatch, making my way to my backdoor, when he comes back with a weapon. He is on top of me. There was blood everywhere. I was literally fighting for my life at that point.”
The teen was initially charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and third-degree assault.
But, to Clarke’s dismay, the case was dismissed on account of the teen’s IQ of 49.
Since the attack, Clarke’s sister took to Facebook and shared a now-viral post detailing the assault and the perceived failure of justice to release the teen.
This is my sister. On Monday night she was attacked by her 15 year old neighbor. He stabbed her in the head and face with a screw driver. She fought him off and was able to escape to a neighbors house to call the police. The boy was taken into police custody and brought to juvenile detention center. No clear motive was ever established.
Alicia has a broken nose, staples in her head and stitches to the puncture wound under her eye.
Hassan is a 15 year old refugee from Somalia who lives with his family. He is 6’ and approx 175lbs, much larger than my sister. He has broken into Alicia’s car 3 different times and broken into another neighbors house. The police were involved every single time and reported that nothing could be done since he was a minor. Surely this time would be different, though.
Despite having broken into Clarke’s car 3 times and another neighbor’s house, Clarke’s sister went onto stress how the victim could’ve suffered more life-threatening injuries.
This morning we went to the juvenile courts building for the deposition hearing where we would find out if he would be held in custody while he awaits his court date, or if he would be allowed to return home. It had been explained to alicia by the victims advocate that the 3 charges he was facing each independently carry a strong recommendation of remaining detained; all three compiled was almost a sure thing. We arrived feeling very hopeful.
On arrival, we learned from that same patient advocate that Hassan’s IQ is 49. This makes him incompetent to aid in his own defense, therefore all charges were formally dismissed by the prosecutor, Sakina Ahmad. We never entered a courtroom, saw a judge, nothing. Hassan was able to go home with a family member. He likely left the building as a free person before we even learned all the above information.
The prosecutor sympathized with our frustration and explained that because he is a mentally handicapped, juvenile refugee, every safeguard available is to his benefit and to Alicia’s detriment. She went on to tell us, VERBATIM, that even if alicia had been KILLED, the outcome would be the same and that this case would be dismissed. Now, Go ahead and read that last sentence again.
Racism is a common allegation lobbed against victims of violence at the hands of immigrant groups.