Police officer arrested in stabbing of California Arab teenager

Police officer arrested in stabbing of California Arab teenager
2 min read
02 March, 2016
A police officer has been arrested in the stabbing of an Arab American teenager who says he was attacked in California because he was speaking Arabic.
The victim believes he was attacked for speaking Arabic [Getty]

Three suspects including a police officer were arrested in Huntington Beach, California on Sunday, after an Arab American teenager was stabbed multiple times.

Karam Jarrah, 17, was stabbed twice while walking home with his brother-in-law in Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles.

The suspected attackers were identified as Illinois police officer Arthur Roman, 28, his brother Martin Roman, 25, and Martin's wife Jessica.

Jarrah said the incident took place on Sunday afternoon when the brothers-in-law who were having a conversation in Arabic walked passed the three suspects who were sitting in a parked car.

Martin Roman, who was armed with a knife approached the two young men saying: "What's up obamabam?"

Jarrah's brother-in-law Asem Dghem said the suspects got angry out of the blue.

"I came back very, very nicely, because we have faced this type of situation before," Dghem said.

The two said the confrontation quickly turned violent, as the suspects attacked them. Martin Roman allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Jarrah.

The suspects then fled the scene only to be arrested a short time later.

The teenage victim was left wondering why exactly the group that included a police officer attacked him.

"Was it like a racial issue? Is it because we were speaking Arabic or it can be like just the way we look," said Karam Jarrah.

The young man's family say they can't believe a police officer had taken part in the attack.

"They have to actually protect us, not stab us," Dghem said. "He's a police officer, actually, he's supposed to be role model."

The three suspects were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and battery.

Violent attacks against American Arabs and Muslims have increased in recent months following the terrorist attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, in addition to anti-Muslim rhetoric by Republican presidential candidates.