- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

ANOKA, Minn. (AP) - Anoka County prosecutors won’t change a felony assault charge against a woman accused of attacking a restaurant patron because she wasn’t speaking English.

Jodie Burchard-Risch was charged with third-degree assault following an attack on Asma Jama at an Applebee’s restaurant in Coon Rapids Oct. 30.

The Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations pushed for hate crime charges against Jama’s attacker. But prosecutor Paul Young says a bias assault charge is a gross misdemeanor under state law. Young tells the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1Y8Sm3A ) that charge isn’t strong enough in this case.

A criminal complaint says Burchard-Risch was in a nearby booth and became upset that Jama was speaking Swahili. The complaint says the woman began yelling at Jama, threw a drink on her and smashed a beer mug across her face, causing significant injuries.

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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