- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Chicago area police officer accused of attacking two teenagers Sunday in Huntington Beach, California, has been charged and placed on administrative leave.

The victims say they were targeted because they were speaking to each other in Arabic, a local ABC News affiliate reported.

Oak Forest Police Officer Arthur Roman, 28, his 25-year-old brother, Martin, and his sister-in-law, Jessica, have all been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and battery.

The three had gotten into an argument with the victims outside of a 24 Hour Fitness in Huntington Beach that led to a physical fight, police said. Karam Jarrah, 17, was stabbed twice in the scuffle and was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The Romans fled in a vehicle and were arrested later by officers, Huntington Beach police said.

Officer Roman was released Monday after posting bail. Oak Forest police said he was in the Huntington Beach area on vacation and will be placed on administrative leave once he returns back home.

“We will be conducting an internal revenue and take action based on that internal investigation,” Oak Forest Deputy Chief Timothy Kristin told the Chicago Tribune.

The stabbing victim said he and his brother-in-law, Asem Dghem, were walking by the three suspects sitting in their car when one of them asked, “What’s up Obama bam?’”

“I don’t even know what that means,” Mr. Jarrah told ABC. “So, I said, ‘What?’ and he said, ‘What’s up ‘Obama bam?’ He said it like he was mad.”

Mr. Dghem said the suspects got angry for seemingly no reason.

“I came back very, very nicely, because we have faced this type of situation before,” Mr. Dghem told ABC.

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

“When I stood up, it was just like a fountain squirting blood, like blood everywhere,” Mr. Jarrah said.

Authorities said they are not treating the attack as a hate crime, because they can’t confirm that the victims were targeted because of their race, ABC reported.

 

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