A teenager has been charged with yelling ethnic slurs while spraying young Somali-American siblings with a garden hose as they were in their southern Minnesota home.
Zachariah Manahan, 18, of Faribault, was charged Monday in Rice County District Court with felony stalking committed because of bias as well as gross-misdemeanor property damage and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) praised prosecutors for charging the case as a felony involving bias.
“We welcome the charges brought against this suspect who allegedly terrorized Muslim children and hope they send the message that bias-motivated acts of violence will not be tolerated in our state or nation,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein.
Hussein said he’s particularly concerned for Somali-Americans living outside the metro area and who are new to the country “because a lot of them don’t report” suspected hate crimes.
The Faribault area has one of the larger Somali-American communities in the state outside of the Twin Cities, said Hussein, who added that “they really haven’t had many issues there compared to St. Cloud.”
Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen said that the “offensive and boisterous conduct” attributed to Manahan is “disturbing, and his picking on people certainly justified the charges.”
Manahan appeared in court Wednesday and remains jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail. A message was left with his attorney Thursday seeking a response to the allegations.