Investigators say they’ve found the home where an alleged beating of an Arab-American filmmaker took place last Saturday night in Fairfield. Usama Alshaibi, 41, claims he was beaten simply because of his name.
Police were initially unable to find the house because Alshaibi couldn’t identify the home. Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille says authorities are not ready to classify the alleged beating as a “hate crime,” but didn’t rule out that possibility.
“The Iowa code is very specific as to what a hate crime is and before we gather all the information to find out exactly what did happen, we’re not going to make that determination,” Dille said. Police are interviewing individuals who were in the home and gathering other evidence.
Dille says the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is helping investigate the case.
According to Alshaibi, four individuals beat him bloody and called him “Osama Bin Laden.” He said he eventually escaped to a nearby parking lot, where he called a friend. A photo taken at the hospital a short time later shows Alshaibi with a cut to his forehead and blood running down his face.
Police are trying to determine why Alshaibi entered a party where he didn’t know anyone.
Usama Alshaibi’s website: www.dancehabibi.com/info.html
By Mark Carlson, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids
Photos submitted by Usama Alshaibi.