Minnesota resident Asma Jama was dining with her two children at an Applebee’s in Coon Rapids, patiently waiting for her pasta Alfredo, when a woman at a nearby booth strolled up to her and proceeded to smash a glass beer mug in her face. “Somebody hit me because I was speaking a different language,” Jama told MPR News.

Jama, an ethnic Somali who came to Minnesota in 2000 from Kenya, alleges that she was chatting with her family in Swahili when 43-year-old Jodie Burchard-Risch yelled at her for not speaking in English, threw a drink at her, and finally smashed the beer mug in her face before fleeing.


Jama said she couldn’t “believe after all these years somebody hit me because I’m different.” Oregon Live writes,

Jama said she feels ‘traumatized’ and doesn’t feel safe leaving her house alone. When she needed to have the 17 stitches removed from her lip on Thursday, she asked her cousin to join her.

‘I’m actually thinking about moving out of Minnesota,’ she said. ‘I’m scared for my life. I don’t feel comfortable here anymore.'”

Risch was arrested after the incident and charged with third-degree assault, and now The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for hate-crime charges. Paul Young, a criminal division chief in the Anoka County Attorney’s Office, tells Oregon Live that prosecutors are still investigating and waiting for medical reports.

“Emotionally, this has destroyed me to be honest,” Jama tells CBS in the video below.

[via Oregon Live, MPR News]