Columbus, Ohio

Police: No evidence of a hate crime in reported assault of woman, stemmed from argument

Columbus Police say despite rumors and speculation across social media, they have no evidence an incident “involved any type of bias which would constitute the incident being investigated as a hate crime.”

The family of a Muslim woman who was reportedly assaulted at her northeast Columbus apartment complex Saturday night say she was attacked by a man when she tried to intervene in an argument between a Somali woman and white men. Rahma Warsame suffered fractures, multiple cuts and bruises according to loved ones.

Officers say they were first reported to the Pinellas Court apartment complex because of 911 calls reporting a woman making threats, accusing the caller of having her child. Police say there were several calls made to 911 that included claims of a woman hitting a child with a shoe, and a person stating someone had kidnapped her son because they saw her hitting him.

During one of the calls while officers were in route, a dispatcher said they heard someone making threats and the sounds of a physical confrontation.

Police say they found a woman lying face down in a doorway with a man identifying himself as her husband standing with her. He told them she’d been assaulted with “some type of device similar to a taser.” Responding officers say there was also another woman who was bleeding from the mouth who told them she’d been assaulted by a man.

Members of CAIR, a DC based Muslim rights group, claimed Warsame was the victim. “She attempted to intervene in another argument between another Somali woman and a white males when she attempted to intervene, a male suspect attacked her” said CAIR executive director Jennifer Nimer.

At the apartments where it happened, Ricky Boyce said problems started when neighbors, including Warsame, and his girlfriend Samantha got into a fight over how an adult was treating a child. He says his girlfriend was surrounded by several people, including men, and when he saw her fall to the ground he stepped in to protect her.

“Oh, I know I hit somebody, so I’m sure I did,” Boyce said.

Police did not name the two women or the man they initially saw when they arrived.

After interviewing multiple victims and witnesses, Columbus Police say no arrests were made because of conflicting stories by everyone at the scene, and a lack of evidence. Two women were taken to area hospitals to be treated for injuries, but officers say the injuries as reported didn’t rise above the level of misdemeanor assault.

Police say they referred the case to the Prosecutor’s Office, as is standard procedure when probable cause can’t be established.

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