A St. Louis woman says she was robbed, beaten, stabbed, had her nose broken and left bloodied by a 15-year-old Somali refugee neighbor who was set free by local prosecutors.
Alicia Clarke told local NBC network affiliate KSDK on Monday that her neighbor, who lives with his family, a week earlier hopped the fence their back yards share in south St. Louis, tackled her and beat her before stealing her iPhone.
According to Clarke, the reason authorities gave her for releasing Clarke was because of his IQ of 49.
“He knocked me down, pulling my hair, kicking,” she told KSDK.
The neighbor stole her cell phone and ran off, after which Clarke used her work cell phone to call police.
“I am on the phone with St. Louis police dispatch, making my way to my backdoor, when he comes back with a weapon. He is on top of me. There was blood everywhere. I was literally fighting for my life at that point,” she said.
The neighbor stabbed her in the face and head with a metal rod, she said.
She was able to wrestle the rod out of his hand and she ran inside, but the neighbor took the second phone.
Police arrested the suspect on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and third-degree assault.
However, when Clarke went to juvenile court to learn the disposition of the case, she learned from an official that the case had been dismissed before reaching a judge.
In a Feb. 20 Facebook post, Andrea Clarke Flatley, who identified herself as Alicia Clarke’s sister, described the attack in more detail and included photographs. She added that her sister needed staples in her head for the stab wounds inflicted by a screwdriver, suffered a puncture wound and share more details about what officials allegedly told them.
The post also included what looked like a screen grab of the police incident report.
She identified the neighbor as “Hassan,” a 6-foot-0, 175-pound Somali refugee who she said has broken into Alicia Clarke’s car three times.
According to Andrea Clarke, each incident had been reported to the police.
“On arrival, we learned from that same patient advocate that Hassan’s IQ is 49,” the post reads. “This makes him incompetent to aid in his own defense, therefore all charges were formally dismissed by the prosecutor, Sakina Ahmad.”
“We never entered a courtroom, saw a judge, nothing. Hassan was able to go home with a family member. He likely left the building as a free person before we even learned all the above information.”
“Even if Alicia had been killed, the outcome would be the same”
“The prosecutor sympathized with our frustration and explained that because he is a mentally handicapped, juvenile refugee, every safeguard available is to his benefit and to Alicia’s detriment. She went on to tell us, verbatim, that even if Alicia had been killed, the outcome would be the same and that this case would be dismissed.”
The Facebook post has been shared nearly 8,000 times and generated nearly 4,000 comments.
An unidentified court official told KSDK that no one could comment on the case since it involved a juvenile. An email from Pluralist to the Missouri State Circuit Attorney’s office in St. Louis did not receive an immediate reply. A phone call to the office received a busy signal.
Flatley went on to say that the prosecutor’s office advised Clarke to get a restraining order, which she did the day after the attack. However, if the neighbor violates the restraining order, the cycle of reporting and release will be repeated, they were told.
Thanks to a “solid support system,” Flatley’s post said, Clarke “isn’t forced to live next door to her attacker.”
In January, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, the first black to hold the office, sued the city, the police union and five others, accusing them of a racist conduct to prevent her reform agenda.
She said the defendants were engaged in “collusive conduct” to keep her from fulling a campaign “promise to redress the scourge of historical inequality and rebuild trust in the criminal justice system among communities of color.”