Police: Death of Muslim girl in Virginia not believed to be hate crime

CNN News 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was attacked and killed early Sunday morning in Virginia.

RESTON, VIRGINIA (CNN) – Police in northern Virginia say a man fatally beat a Muslim teenager with a bat during a weekend road-rage incident.

But there’s no evidence the death of Nabra Hassanen, 17, who was attacked early Sunday as she and a group of teenagers walked back to a mosque, was a hate crime, authorities in Fairfax County
said. Police said they could file appropriate charges if the investigation later finds the crime was motivated by hate.
The Reston teenager’s father said he believes Nabra was killed because she was wearing Muslim clothing.
 Police say 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, of Sterling, argued with one of the teenagers early Sunday and chased them on foot with a baseball bat before catching Nabra and beating her. He put
the injured teen in his car, officials said. Her body was found Sunday evening in Loudoun County.
“There is nothing at this point to indicate that this tragic case was a hate crime,” said Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department.
Nabra died from blunt-force trauma to the head and neck, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Northern Virginia said.
Less than two hours after the incident, Fairfax County police arrested Torres in a traffic stop after an officer noticed what he believed to be the car involved in the incident. Torres has been charged with murder. He is being held without bond. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Authorities said they believe Torres acted alone.
Immigration officials have asked a Fairfax detention center to put a hold on Torres, a native of El Salvador. The hold, known as a detainer, is issued to keep suspected deportable immigrants for an additional 48 hours beyond what they could otherwise be released.
Police and Nabra’s family said the group of friends had left the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center after midnight prayers, heading to a McDonald’s before the next fast began.
The mosque holds several prayers throughout the night during the observance of Ramadan, said Tajul Islam, a receptionist at the ADAMS Center.
As many of 14 to 15 teenagers were walking and riding bikes in the roadway and on the sidewalk when they encountered Torres, authorities said.
Police said there is no indication of any racial or ethnic slurs. He would not reveal the details of the argument between the teen on the bicycle and Torres.
Torres drove his car up onto the curb and the group scattered, she said.
Witnesses said Torres caught up with the group a short time later in a nearby parking lot, where he allegedly beat Nabra with the bat.
“His anger over that earlier encounter then led to violence when he hit Nabra with a baseball bat,” Parker said.

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