Muslim teenager’s death not hate crime


A group of teenagers observing Ramadan traveled from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Virginia to a local McDonald’s at around 3 a.m. on Sunday. As they left, the fast food restaurant on bikes or on foot, a car appeared behind them.

After getting into a verbal altercation with one of the teenagers, the driver, believed to be 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, drove his car over a curb towards the group.

The teenagers continued on their way, but were later met by the same man who allegedly chased them with a baseball bat, hitting Nabra Hassanen before taking her into his car and leaving.

Police units from two counties, a helicopter, and search dogs banded together before 5 in the morning. A car was seen returning multiple times to where Nabra had been abducted, and the driver, Martinez Torres, was arrested. The 17-year-old Nabra was later found dead near the suspect’s apartment building.

Although officers in Fairfax are unsure about the motivation behind the seemingly random murder, they have stated that it was probably a road rage incident. However, Nabra Hassanen’s family believes otherwise. Her father, Mohmoud Hassanen, declared that the attack must have been due to religion, explaining that the suspect knew nothing of Nabra except that she was wearing Islamic clothing, yet still chose to target her.

Darwin Martinez Torres also has family members defending him. He is a construction worker and the father to a four-year-old son. An aunt of his stated that his whole family is confused about the charges, and see him as a nice man. Martinez Torres was also said to be at a park with his mother just hours before the kidnapping of Nabra Hassanen.

​Outraged citizens have spoken up on social media about the death, arguing that it was a hate crime and cannot be justified as road rage because the teenagers were pedestrians. The incident also came at a similar time to a terrorist attack outside of a mosque in London, injuring 10 persons. One post on social media cites four different crimes from the past weekend, with the caption, “Hate has devastating consequences.”