Armed thugs attacked a Bosnian woman in the same neighborhood where Zemir Begic was beaten to death by hammer-wielding black youths a week ago.
The woman was carjacked at gunpoint and beaten unconscious in the Bevo Mill section of St. Louis. She was found by a passerby.
“You’re Bosnian,” one of three black assailants allegedly said. “I should just kill you now.”
Police told Fox News the case was referred to the FBI.
“As of now, officers are investigating this incident as a bias crime based on the victim’s account of the incident,” the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said Monday in an email. “The investigation is ongoing.”
Violent crime in the area spiked by 24-percent following a grand jury decision in neighboring Ferguson to not indict Darren Wilson, a police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.
“It is common for African-American teens to walk in the middle of the street and block in cars at intersections,” a Bosnian who lives in the area said. “We have been stopped at intersections in Bevo and our car attacked by teens who pound on the car — laughing at us.”
“They only do this to white individuals, who they have learned will generally not respond. There is a pattern here and it is racially motivated,” he told Fox. “Many of us are arming ourselves in order to avoid becoming the next victim to be beaten to death in the streets.”
Bevo Mill residents marched on Monday in response to the attacks. In a takeoff on the Michael Brown protests, they chanted: “Bosnian Lives Matter.”
“Overall the whole neighborhood is on alert,”Alderman Carol Howard told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “There’s been an uptick in crime since August. I really do believe it has set off a sense of lawlessness.”
Tens of thousands of Bosnians settled in St. Louis following the civil war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.