Group calls for updated hate crime laws following ‘horrific attack’ on 11-year-old girl

WASHINGTON (KVRR) – The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization is calling for new hate crime laws in North Dakota following reports that an 11-year-old girl was assaulted this week in Fargo.

“This horrific attack and the failure to prosecute it as a hate crime points to the need for clear legislation to deal with bias-motivated crimes in North Dakota” according to Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Deputy Director of the American Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“The individual who allegedly committed this monstrous act did so with obvious racial motivation and should be charged accordingly. We urge North Dakota lawmakers to pass an updated hate crime law that will fully hold those who commit bias-motivated crimes accountable.”

Court documents say the girl and four boys had been playing basketball in the 2700-block of 33-1/2 Ave. S. when 73-year-old Larry Baldner called them the n-word and told them to get off his property.  Baldner allegedly slapped the girl on the face, grabbed her by the hair and neck, and lifted her off the ground, partially choking her for 5-6 seconds.

Baldner was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and preventing arrest.  Police say Baldner was handcuffed because he was confrontational and uncooperative.

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News, North Dakota News