US man sprays Somali children, yells slurs in Minnesota: Police

Zachariah Manahan, 18, accused of felony stalking committed because of bias and other charges.

    This undated photo provided by the Rice County Sheriff''s Office in Faribault, Minnesota, shows Zachariah Manahan [Handout/Rice County Sheriff''s Office/AP Photo]
    This undated photo provided by the Rice County Sheriff''s Office in Faribault, Minnesota, shows Zachariah Manahan [Handout/Rice County Sheriff''s Office/AP Photo]

    A man in the United States state of Minnesota has been accused of a bias crime for allegedly spraying a Somali American teenager and her siblings with a garden hose while he yelled racial slurs.

    Eighteen-year-old Zachariah Manahan of Faribault, Minnesota, was charged on Monday with felony stalking committed because of bias as well as misdemeanour charges of damaging property and disorderly conduct. Faribault is about 50 miles (80 kilometres) south of Minneapolis.

    The 15-year-old girl told police that Manahan had sprayed her and her siblings.

    The girl also said Manahan sprayed water through an open second-floor window of her family's home. Police say a rug, a piece of furniture and the walls were drenched.

    According to the Minnesota Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), Manahan is accused of yelling "f****** Somalians" and "b***** Somalians" at the children. 

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    Manahan told police he was trying to spray a fence, not his neighbours, the complaint said. 

    Manahan remained in jail as of late Wednesday. His public defender did not immediately return a phone message from the Associated Press seeking comment on Wednesday.

    500 incidents anti-Muslim bias

    CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said in a statement on Wednesday that the organisation welcomes "the charges brought against this suspect who allegedly terrorised Muslim children, and hope they send the message that bias-motivated acts of violence will not be tolerated in our state or nation."

    Jaylani added that CAIR has documented "an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslim immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump."

    According to CAIR, there have been more than 500 incidents of anti-Muslim bias or harassment in the United States this year.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies