Muslim Teen’s Memorial Set on Fire in Washington
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The memorial for a Muslim teen murdered near a Virginia mosque was set on fire in Dupont Circle in Northwest Washington on Wednesday, according to fire officials.
DC Fire said they responded to the scene at about 8:30 a.m. and found the remains from the memorial for 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen on fire at the Dupont Memorial Fountain on Connecticut Avenue NW, FOX 5 website reported.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames. DC Police said 24-year-old Jonathon Soloman of South Carolina was arrested in connection with the fire.
The United States Park Police said Soloman was setting several items from the park on fire and it did not appear that he was intentionally targeting items from Nabra's memorial.
Officials said the fountain did not appear to sustain any permanent damage and Soloman was charged with vandalism.
A large group gathered in Dupont Circle and around several major cities to honor Nabra, who was killed during a suspected road rage incident as she walked to a mosque in Fairfax County early Sunday morning, according to police.
Nabra was with a group of about 15 teenagers in the Sterling area as they made their way back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society at about 3 a.m., according to police.
Officials said the group had stopped at a McDonald's between Ramadan prayers.
The suspect, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, became enraged during a traffic argument with a teen in the group who was riding a bicycle, according to officials.
Police said the argument escalated and Torres pulled over, chased the group with a baseball bat and attacked Nabra.
After hitting her with the bat, authorities said Torres took Nabra in his car to another nearby location and assaulted her again. Her body was later found in a pond.
Authorities confirmed Nabra was assaulted twice before her death - once in Loudoun and once in Fairfax.